By Carlos Kambaekwa
Veteran triathletes Paddy Murphy and Cordula Moller will lead a strong Namibian contingent at the annual recreational Swakop Triathlon at the Mole in Swakopmund on Saturday at 07h00.
Defending champion Nico Sterk from South Africa is already in Namibia to acclimatize. The South African, who is ranked in the top 10 in the ultra-distance discipline in his native country has vowed to defend his title.
“It was in Swakopmund where I made a breakthrough in triathlon after years of hard work. I did my first competitive triathlon in Swakopmund more than eight years ago and I’ll always come back to support this particular competition,” said the 20-year-old multi talented athlete.
Sterk is psyched up for the grueling 112,9-km race and highly determined to improve on last year’s performance, hence his coming a week prior to the event to prepare properly.
Namibia’s leading middle and long distance athletes are to team up with a strong field of swimmers and cyclists in the team event and the combination of marathoner Reinhold Iita and cyclist Nick du Plesssis in the Prowealth team promises a tough competition in this particular category.
Long-distance runner Beata Naigambo returns to her happy haunting ground alongside Corinna Wahl to challenge for top honours in the women’s division, while swimmer Dooris Kleynhans, cyclist Heiko Redecker and veteran runner Frans Hosea will be out to make their presence felt in the colours of the star studded Otb team.
The focus on teams and the new flexible team concept, which allows athletes to choose the distance they would like to cover, has certainly encouraged the more casual athletes to participate.
The 112,9-km long race comprises a distance of 1.9 km swimming, 90 km cycling and is rounded off with a 21-km run.
First National Bank of Namibia FNB, Pupkewitz, Puma and Otb are the main sponsors of the event.