S├╝llwald on his super world championship victory | SASCOC - SASCOC

S├╝llwald on his super world championship victory

By Mark Etheridge

It may have been miserable weather conditions in Auckland but Wian S├╝llwald was the happiest young man in town after his victory in the junior race at the ITU World Triathlon Championships at the weekend.

S├╝llwald romped to victory, covering the 750-metre swim, 20 kilometre cycle and 5km run in a speedy 61min 44seconds.

“So, a four-year dream becomes a reality,” S├╝llwald told Road to Rio 2016 on his return to South Africa on Wednesday. “Since my first World Triathlon Championships in 2009 I dreamt of being the best junior triathlete in the world and after four years of hard work, dedication, experience, sacrifices and racing I became the junior world champion! And I am the first African to claim an ITU world champion title.”

Pretoria-based S├╝llwald, still 19, left for New Zealand two weeks in advance to sufficiently get his body adapted to the 11-hour time zone and didn’t his body just adapt in style?

“Race day came and the weather really wasn’t playing along ÔÇô cold windy and it rained heavily.”

But he didn’t let this deter him one iota.”Standing on the pontoon eager to go I knew I was ready for it, was well prepared and after having some good racing throughout the year. That good training was possible due to my great coaches Lindsey Parry and Rocco Meiring and the High Performance Centre providing me with training facilities, massage, nutrition advice and sociology help, bike set-up and a good training environment.”

And of course more than a bit of help from Triathlon South Africa and sponsors BSG.

As for the race ÔÇô “We were off after a bit of fighting and pulling and I made my way too a small group of front swimmers. I exited the water in the top 10 and had a good run to transition and through transition ÔÇô allowing me too be first on the bike.

“On the first lap we were three athletes that got away but a few athletes caught up with us. The cycle course on its own was very tough with three big hills on a 5km lap.

“The bad weather just made things worse but for some reason I love to race in the rain and I managed to stay on my bike through the wet cycle.

“Coming into final transition my legs were feeling pretty good and quickly took the lead in the run and kept on making the gap bigger and bigger. I finished with enough time too celebrate the biggest victory of my life in style…┬á”

Certainly it was a stylish win as the boy from Warmbad celebrated by flexing his biceps to an appreciative crowd.

Next up for our newest world champion will be a BSG Series race on 11 November after which he’ll take a well-deserved break.


I watched Wian race in the Youth Olympics in Singapore and told those who cared to listen that here is a champion in the making. It was the way he tackled the biking leg that impressed me. Well done Wian, the world will take note of you now.