Young Sandton athletes excel at championships

Joshua Eccles, Michael Irvine-Smith and Thomas Hunt.


While many pupils from Sandton-based schools prepared for their holidays, three young talented athletes competed in the South African Triathlon Championship in Bela Bela, Limpopo recently.

Athletes from across the country, who qualified to compete in the championships, gathered for a weekend of racing as they participated in various disciplines in the hope of being crowned this year’s South African Triathlon champion.

The big prize up for grabs was the selection into the South African Modern Pentathlon Association (Sampa) team to compete at the World Triathlon Championship in Orlando, USA, in October.

Local young athletes Joshua Eccles, a Grade 3 pupil from St Stithians Preparatory, Grade 5 pupil Michael Irvine-Smith from Bryaneven Primary School and Thomas Hunt, a Grade 2 pupil from Bryanston Primary School, competed. All three boys achieved great results in their respective age groups in the main triathlon event.

Eccles achieved gold for the Youth E Boys division, athletes born between 2006 and 2007. Irvine-Smith won the bronze medal for the Youth D Boys, athletes born between 2004 and 2005, and Hunt clinched the silver medal for the Youth F Boys, athletes born between 2008 and 2009.

The Gauteng team manager, Graham Burnett said, “We have seen tremendous growth in the multi-disciplined sport of Biathle and Triathle this year. Gauteng sent 117 athletes to participate at the National Championships hosted by Limpopo at Warmbaths Forever Resort, our largest team to date. The total medal count for Gauteng was 28 in the biathle event and 17 for the triathle Championships.”

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