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Tissink, Koll head team

As expected, South African Long Distance triathlon champions, Raynard Tissink and Caroline Koll will spearhead a big South African team to the 2010 Immenstadt ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships on 31 July.

The team is made up of 10 entries in the elite field, with the rest coming from age groupers who feature some impressive names in their own right. Jason Spong, winner of the 2009 Powerman, Germany in May last year, is better known for his duathlon pedigree, but heads up the 30-34 age category.

Two other interesting names are Johan Pretorius and Terry Thornton in the 25-29 and 40-44 age group. Pretorius is a former track athlete, boasting a 3min 41sec 1500m time as well as being a former national junior champion over the distance. Thornton also comes an athletics background, having run 28:42 for 10km in 1986 and 63:02 for the half marathon, also in 1986.

Tissink and Koll will have good support in the Elite category with Riana De Lange, a returning Dominique Donner and Kathryn du Bussion in the women’s field and Donovan Van Gelder and Anthony Storm in the men’s elite field.

De Lange has a preference for the long distance race, having represented South Africa in 2009. It was in fact in 2009 that she made the decision that her future would lie in the long term event where her strength, the bike leg, will be of huge advantage to her. De Lange is coming back into form again, having just finished the grueling three-day mountain bike race, the Sani2C and a day after finishing third in the Midlands Ultra Triathlon.

Koll has had a superb 2010 with a second place finish at the Joburg Tri Series on 7 February, followed up by her win at the South African Long Distance Championships on 21 February. Koll also ran her best ever marathon time on Sunday 7 March, when she finished the Vaal Marathon in 2hr 55min, proving she is coming into good form.

Tissink who has already won five Iron Man titles in his career and who was crowned SA Triathlon Champion in 2003 along with Koll, heads up the men’s elite section. Donovan Van Gelder finished fifth at the second Joburg Tri Series race on 7 March and followed that up with a third place at the Vanderbijl Prestige Ultra Triathlon SA Long Distance Championships on 21 February.

Distances involved in the World Long Distance Championships are: a 4km swim, 130km bike and 30km run.


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