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SA lifesavers do battle in German Cup

Our top lifesavers head for Europe on Sunday to do battle in the 22.German Cup in Wardorf, Germany, writes Mark Etheridge.

The bulk of the team are made up of the squad that represented Team South Africa at the World Games in Cali, Colombia in July/August this year.

That team brought back an individual bronze medal from Armand Marais and also a bronze in the team event.

The European event is the third highest ranked event for lifesavers specialising in the stillwater leg of lifesaving competitions.

The pinnacle of international lifesaving competitions for in the stillwater discipline are made up of the World Games, Rescue Series, German Cup, Commonwealth Games.

Our lifesavers have a good history at the German Cup, and have recorded second and third places previously although twice missing the all important first spot for international teams.

Other countries in action will be Italy, Germany, France, The Netherlands, China, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Said Manager Meyer: “We certainly have medal hopes in the person of Armand Marais in the 50m Manikin Rescue and 100m Dummy with Fins. Armand is the current World bronze medal holder in the 50m Manikin Rescue and also has medal potential in the 100m Manikin Rescue with Fins.

“Newcomers’, Janke Grobbelaar and Francois Rossouw will certainly raise the stakes in the Obstacles as I believe they will progress to A Finals with certain medal potential. Carmel Billson needs to be watched in the 50m Manikin as she is upset material for A Finals in that specific event.

“Stalwart Guinivere Rogers has much to prove after World Games 2013 in Columbia and is A Final potential within the 100m Manikin with Fins.

“It is expected that we will reach A Finals in all relays more specifically the 4x50m Obstacle, 4 x25m Manikin Relay and 4x50m Medley Relay’s for men, which could proof upset material for countries such as Italy, Germany and Australia.”

Meyer also credited the World Games for boosting the confidence and experience levels of the younger members of the team. “Rudolf Visser, Christiaan Malan and Carmel benefited tremendously from the World Games 2013 in Columbia. We should not forget that Australia and Nieu Zeeland did not participate at the World Games, which will raise the bar for individual performances for SA to finish within the top five. We ended sixth at the World Games, narrowly missing the fifth spot.

“The babies in the team are Rudolf, Christiaan and Janke Grobbelaar and they receive their Protea colours for the first time together with coach Martina van den Bout. ‘Veteran’ World Games and Commonwealth member, Jayne Broderick, also for the first time receives her long awaited Protea Colours. It’s sad to say that we will also say goodbye to her together with Robin Saggers (World Games in 2009), after more than 15 years in the game respectively.

“But Armand, Christiaan, Rudolf and Francois ┬áshould be the core for any Stillwater Men touring team for SA in the next four years till the World Games 2017.

“What is very important for me as manager is to see my team collecting as many points as possible to better our international ranking within the lifesaving fraternity.”


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