Sandton teen is moving up in SA sport after placing 2nd in SA Triathlon Champs

Tegan Gore wins bronze, Amer Schlebusch wins gold (both from Natal) and Ashleigh Irvine-Smith bags silver at the SA Champs.

Ashleigh Irvine-Smith, in Grade 10 at Crawford College Sandton, competed in the SA Triathlon Champs in Bloemfontein and placed second in her age group.

Ashleigh was also selected to compete in Zimbabwe at the Troutbeck ATU race where she won the 16–17 age group. In addition, she was selected to represent South Africa at the African Champs in Tunisia but due to security concerns and her upcoming exams she decided against competing.

Ashleigh started competing in triathlons four years ago at the age of 11 and trains every day, sometimes twice a day. Generally, her only rest day is a Sunday and the intensity, she admitted, does get exhausting especially with schoolwork.

“Some weeks may be a bit easier than others, mostly depending on what races are coming up and what is happening at school,” said Ashleigh.

For her, triathlon is not just a sport but a part of her lifestyle, and she can’t imagine it ever being something that she won’t do. Ashleigh loves the fact that she gets to do something that empowers others to become more active and change their lifestyle.

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She said the best part of racing was the absolute non-stop intensity. Triathlon races are just over an hour of complete pain and relentless effort.

“The adrenaline and excitement that this creates makes such an awesome race atmosphere.”

Ashleigh has also recently been selected to represent South Africa as a member of the Triathlon South Africa Junior team to travel to Europe and compete in two of the Junior European Cup races in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The European tour will serve as selection races for Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam later in the year.

Did your child compete in the SA Champs held in Bloemfontein? Share your stories with us on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

Staff Reporter

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