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Runner-up Sullwald hopes to learn from mistakes

Junior world triathlon champion Wian Sullwald is far from disheartened at his runners-up spot at the weekend’s SA triathlon championships in East London, writes Mark Etheridge.

Sullwald freely admits to making a few mistakes during the 1500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike ride and 10km run. But the good thing is that he’s more than happy to learn from those mistakes.

Sullwald ended up taking second spot (1hr 57min 32sec), 29 seconds behind champion Henri Schoeman in the event that doubled up as the African Cup.

“Hey, they were just stupid mistakes,” he told Road to Rio 2016 this week. “After the swim I first waited for some athletes too help me catch up to Henri and the German guy instead of chasing them down myself. They actually didn’t have that big of a gap on me.

“So what happened was that I ended up waiting a bit long for some athletes who weren’t really that strong on the day and all this saw me losing time on the two leaders. I eventually chased them down on my own and got to them with 15km left to go on the bike.”

But it proved a chase too far for the young Pretoria athlete. “It was a bit hard on my body and wasn’t good for my running legs.”

Ever humble though, Sullwald paid credit to his rival and mate Schoeman. “Definitely no excuses, Henri was the deserved champion.”

Next up for Sullwald is a World Cup event in Japan on 14 April. “Then its the African triathlon champs and then I’ll head to Europe.”


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