Mitchell, Viljoen on the water for Team SA in Cali | SASCOC - SASCOC

Mitchell, Viljoen on the water for Team SA in Cali

Today we feature the eighth and penultimate of a series of pre-event stories ahead of South Africa’s campaign at the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. South Africa will be represented in nine different sporting codes. MARK ETHERIDGE looks at our waterskiing/wakeboarding duo.

South Africa has two contestants in the waterskiing/wakeboarding code for this year’s World Games in Cali.

And unlike at the last World Games in Taiwan four years ago where the SA contingent took part in the barefoot waterskiing category, this time out its traditional waterskiing and wake boarding.

The two SA representatives are Dylan Mitchell (aged 20) and Gabi Viljoen (21) and the team will be accompanied by manager/coach Neil McLennan.

McLennan is currently in the United States ahead of the World Games and the two team-members are also abroad.

He took time out to share his thoughts on the SA duo. “Dylan is originally from Cape Town and took a gap year in 2012 to focus on his wake boarding and improve his overall world rating. He has based himself in Europe lately, competing in may of the IWWF events around Europe.

“He finished third in both the British Nationals and European Championships which improved his rankings to top lace in the junior men’s division which helped in his selection for the World Games squad.

“He’s been in Lebanon at a training camp for the past month and he’ll be hoping for a high score at the Games.”

Waterskier Viljoen is also stateside, currently studying and training at Rollins University in Orlando, Florida.

“Gabi’s been skiing since she was eight years old,” tells McLennan. “She’s currently ranked sixth in the world and holds all African records in all the age groups. She’s also a past Moomba champion in Australia and a Masters runner-up.

“She’s really on form now and carrying a lot of confidence into the games and, I think one of our best hopes for a medal in Cali. Straight after the games she heads straight to the Under-21 World Waterskiing championships which will be held in Florida, USA.

“These two athletes have put in a lot of time and effort into their training and have a great chance of bringing back medals in their individual disciplines,” was McLelland’s summing up of the Team SA waterski/wakeboard challenge.