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Triumphant Sanders dedicates African victory to her mom
- Updated: May 12, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Olympic and Commonwealth Games triathlete Gillian Sanders dedicated Sunday’s African Championships victory in Egypt to her mom on Mother’s Day on Sunday.
London based Sanders clocked 2hr 06min 34sec for the 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.
That was enough to give her almost a two-minute victory margin over fellow South African Mari Rabie, the country’s top finisher at the recent Cape Town leg of the World Triathlon Series.
Athletes competed in searingly hot conditions with temperatures hovering between 35-40 degrees Celsius during the race.
‘Hot it was! But Rio will be warm so its good and as I’m not a big person racing in the heat suits me, I love it,’ she told Road to Rio 2016.
‘I was happy with my swim, I came out just behind Anel Radford after we swam together. Mari was just 30sec ahead out the swim and the rest of the girls behind us.
‘Anel and I worked well together on the bike, not losing any time to Mari. I took the lead 1.5 kilometres into the run and took my fourth African title in a row – 2012,13,14 & now 2015 which I’m super happy about.
‘This one is for my mom Margie though, especially for her on Mother’s Day. She carted me around to training from a young age and continues to support me massively. Now its all recovery, recovery, recovery before jetting off to Yokohama to race the WTS there on Saturday.
Men’s winner was Henri Schoeman who won his third consecutive African title and, like Sanders, is heading east to Yokohama as well.
‘I’m really excited to win my third consecutive title. With no rest leading into the competition it went more than ideal. Conditions were extremely warm on race day reaching 36 C during our race.
‘I knew I would have to race smart and not over do anything with only a few days before Yokohama WTS. I swam my usual, using that as my advantage over the others and I found I could maintain the gap on the bike by myself over the chase pack.
‘I increased my lead going into the run which meant I didn’t have to run very hard to win.
‘The heat was definitely a factor during the run and I’m very happy that I didn’t have to work hard to win from the run. Now I just hope the body will recover well as I fly to and prepare for Yokohama.’