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- Team SA leads the way at Region 5 Games opening ceremony
- Stapleton flies flag for SA in India
- Judoka ready to get to grips for Team SA
- SA’s six Games boxers ready to take to the ring
- SA duo up for prestigious world awards
- SA youngsters aim for a repeat of 2014
- Health issues as South Africa play catch-up in India
- Team SA head off to Angola on Region 5 Games mission
Olympian Sanders pipped for silver in Portugal
- Updated: April 10, 2013
By Mark Etheridge
Our London Olympics triathlete, Gillian Sanders has opened her 2013 campaign with a podium finish in Portugal.
Still based in London where she planned her Olympics race, Sanders ended third in the Quarteira ITU European Cup event. She clocked 2hr 04min 03sec for the 1500-metre swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.
That was 2:34 behind winner Non Stanford of Britain and a sole second behind German Rebecca Robisch.
At the Olympics where she finished 19th, the best ever result by a female South African triathlete at the Games, she was timed at 2:02:28, three positions ahead of fellow South African Kate Roberts.
Sanders’ splits for the Portuguese event were 21:09, 64:39 and 36:35.
Her Portuguese success came on the back of some serious training in Spain. “I spent two weeks training there at a pre-season camp and then drove over to Portugal to race,” she told Road to Rio 2016 on Wednesday.
“So the legs weren’t too fresh but it was more of just a thrash out and the first race of the season to see where things are and to get a competitive race in before heading to San Diego next week.
“I’ve been working on my swim through the winter and managed to come out in the front pack. Nine of us then worked on the bike together and managed to stay away and it was then down to the run.
“I was in second until 400m to go and was beaten by one second in a sprint finish by the German girl.
“But I’m happy where things are at the moment and especially after a very hard training block in Spain preceding the race!”
Sanders picked up 940 Euros for her third spot in the elite women’s category.
Also joining her in San Diego World Triathlon Series event on 19-20 April will be her fellow Olympian, Richard Murray who ended second in a Miami event at the weekend.