Anke strikes gold in Egypt
Pearson High athlete is crowned world champ
Pearson High pupil Anke Serfontein reinforced her belief that she could do anything she put her mind to after she was crowned world champion at the Biathle/Triathle World Championships in Egypt at the weekend.
The 14-year-old athlete won the title in the under-15 division after a rip-roaring performance on the final day of competition on Sunday.
The competition, which was hosted in Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, from October 25 to 28, saw Anke achieve four medals in total, claiming a silver in the triathle mixed relay with partner Marco Prins, as well as silver in the individual event.
She also took gold in the biathle mixed relay event with partner Nathan Gallacher.
Close to 500 athletes from 30 countries participated across the full scope of age categories in biathle (run-swim-run) and triathle (swim-run-shoot), with medals at stake across individual and mixed relay events.
Biathle age categories ranged from U9 to Masters 70-plus, while the triathle event had age-groups from U11 to Masters 60-plus.
Anke said she was ecstatic about registering such a momentous victory.
“I learnt some tough lessons through the various races,” she said.
“I especially had a tough race on Saturday, but most importantly, I think it taught me to never give up and to work hard until the end.
“I really worked hard for this and it is a good feeling to know that I am a world champ.
“But I have to thank Christ, who gave me the strength to compete and achieve this.”
Anke said she qualified for her spot in the team after winning gold in both disciplines at the national championships held in Nelson Mandela Bay earlier in 2018.
Despite describing her journey to the world championships as a lot of hard work, she is delighted to have reaped the rewards of her perseverance.
Having competed at her first Biathle/Triathle World Championships in the US in 2016, she said she had become more accustomed to the requirements of the sport, which made her realise that nothing great was ever achieved without hard work.
She has been a part of the Eastern Province biathle team since 2015 and regards this as her best result.
“It’s an exciting sport, and I really enjoy it because it combines two of my favourite disciplines – running and swimming.
“It adds to the challenge that each discipline holds on its own,” she said.
Besides her exploits in the multi-discipline sport, she also plays hockey, does laser running, which involves running and shooting a target with a laser gun, and biathlon, where she took gold in the South African Championships earlier in 2018.
She has also represented EP at cross-country and athletics, in addition to being a swimmer.
“I always remind myself that I can do anything with Christ, who strengthens me.
“Never give less than 100% in whatever you do.”
Anke will now turn her attention to her school exams, which will get under way soon, before setting her sights on the upcoming athletics season later in 2018.