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Vermaas ready to roll for Team SA

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By Mark Etheridge
in Nanjing, China

The sounds of the opening ceremony will barely have died down as Jayme-Sue Vermaas will be getting Team South Africa’s medal challenge up and running at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games here on Sunday.

Young Vermaas will be the first South African involved in a final when she competes in the girls’ triathlon event at the Xuanwu Lake venue.

The Bloemfontein based athlete was resting up on Friday but team manager/coach John Rumbelow took time out to take a look-ahead at Sunday’s race.

‘The humidity and heat is going to take it’s toll. The humidity is something else at the venue and the water temperature for the swim is around 25 deg Celsius so it’s definitely a non-wetsuit swim.’

Thirty-three women, and the same number of men, will tackle the sprint distance of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

‘The swim will definitely be key because she’ll want to end up in the front pack,’ says Rumbelow who competed against Jayme-Sue’s father in his era.

Vermaas comes off a Modern Pentathlon background and is clearly multi-talented as can be seen by the fact that she took sixth spot in the African Fencing Championships in Egypt earlier this year and has Protea national colours for this sharp-edged code. She’s also an SA champion in Modern Pentathlon and biathle.

‘Her swimming is very good,’ says Rumbelow, ‘her cycling has improved a lot and her running is also pretty good.’

The triathletes will slug it out over one lap in the lake and then take on four laps of 5km on a course which the coach describes as ‘very tight with lots of little hills on each lap.

‘The run is also testing, with two 2.5km laps with some bumps as well and the stronger runners will be able to prove their worth.’

So what can South Africa expect from Vermaas on Sunday?

‘Her first goal will be top 10 on the day. Having said that, should she make the first pack in the swim then that can be improved to top five.’

One thing is for sure, and that is that Vermaas will leave nothing out on the course. ‘Because of her Modern Pentathlon background, certainly not an easy sport, she has the mental capacity to handle anything,’ says Rumbelow.

Meanwhile, Team SA athletes were part of a 3 500-strong welcoming party at the breathtaking Athletes’ Village on Friday. There, athletes from all around the globe mingled with their counterparts while being entertained by various groups. They were also addressed by IOC president Thomas Bach.

The 2nd Youth Olympic Games swing into official action with Saturday’s opening ceremony before the quest for medals begins.

Picture by Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA. For all the latest images of Team South Africa at the Youth Olympic Games go to www.sascocimages.co.za. Images are free to download for editorial use.


4 comments
Martin van Rooyen
Martin van Rooyen

Stayed up from 0h00 to 03h00 wanting to watch the opening of yoga.tv2 you suck at braodcasting.did notvsee anythimg Your tv scedule tv2 sucks and it keeping us from seeimg how our youth will perform in nanjing.as for our team we think of you over there.go neat the rest of the world

Martin van Rooyen
Martin van Rooyen

Stayed up from 0h00 to 03h00 wanting to watch the opening of yoga.tv2 you suck at braodcasting.did notvsee anythimg Your tv scedule tv2 sucks and it keeping us from seeimg how our youth will perform in nanjing.as for our team we think of you over there.go neat the rest of the world