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Sullwald makes more strides against world’s best

By Mark Etheridge

World Junior champion two years ago, our Wian Sullwald continues to make big strides in the cut and thrust world of elite triathlon.

Sullwald was also part of Team South Africa at the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique three years ago before going on to win Junior Worlds in Auckland, New Zealand the next year.

In action at the elite men’s event at Africa’s first World Triathlon Series (WTS) event in Cape Town last weekend, Sullwald did well to end 15th and with a bit more experience may well have made top 10.

He clocked 1hr 46min 44sec for the 1500-metre swim, 40 kilometre cycle and 10km run.

That was less than two minutes behind Spanish winner Javier Gomez and he was second South African after Richard Murray (fifth in 1:45:57).

Sullwald had a great swim and bike and was also in touch with the front runners until the last lap of 2.5km.

“It felt as if my legs just died on me. One moment I was still fine, but then suddenly I just did not have any energy left. In a World Series Event, it is fatal if something like this happens. In a matter of seconds about 10 athletes passed me,ÔÇØ Sullwald said.

ÔÇ£But I am still chuffed. It was the first time that I had an opportunity to race against most of the world’s best tri-athletes and I have proven to myself that I am able to keep up with them. Who knows, in the foreseeable future I might even be able to beat them. This was my proverbial ‘ice breaker’ race and I am very happy with the way it played out.

Sullwald also  improved his world rankings with another three places and now slots in 40th on the international rankings and 24th on the World Series rankings.

Next up for Sullwald is a World Cup event in China. ÔÇ£I will then stay in China to prepare for the following World Series event in Yokohoma on 17 May.

Photo: Chris Hitchcock


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