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BG Triathlon World Cup

 Hendrik de Villiers first place for SA at the BG World Cup Triathlon 2007 Richards BaySA wins Triathlon World Cup gold

Hendrik de Villiers, the African champion, has successfully fought his way up in the men's category to finish first in the Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup held yesterday on the KZN north coast. De Villiers had a bicycle accident during a training session earlier this year and surprised many by winning the African championship title in Mauritius in March.

BG World Cup Triathlon 2007
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This weekend's win, SA's first-ever world cup gold on home soil, assured him of 50 world ranking points and he also collected $12 500 and Kirsten Sweetland, Kirsten Sweetland first place for woman at the BG World Cup Triathlon 2007 Richards Bay south africahis 19 year old Canadian counterpart, scooped the women's title and also went away with $12 500 plus 50 points. African women's champion Kate Roberts who spent the past two weeks training in Durban, came in at ninth place.
"I was very satisfied with my swim because I have been putting a lot of effort into getting it up to standard and I enjoyed going up hills on the 40km bicycle stage," said Sweetland, who completed the cycling leg in 1:07,17 and the 10km run in 36,12, to cross the line in 2:03,32.
"Although the 40km route consisted of eight laps that included climbs, I actually wished there were more, because it would have suited me."
"On the last of four laps of the run, I managed to go off the front of the leading group," said Sweetland, who excelled as a 3 000 metres athlete at school, and who has a best of 10:01 to her name over that distance.
"It was only when I looked back that I realised how big the gap was that I had opened off the front of the leading bunch and I pushed the pace because I knew that my sprint would be strong enough to allow me to win."

It is the second consecutive year the African leg of the BG Triathlon World Cup series will be held in Richards Bay following the awarding of the hosting rights to the local organisers on a three-year basis. The 1.5km swimming leg of the Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup, took place in a protected saltwater bay over a two lap course and was followed by a challenging 8 lap 40km cycle course and culminated with a 10km run over a flat route. Both Hendrik de Villiers and Kistern Sweetland came out tops.
Hendrik de Villiers, the winner of the men's title, said of his win: ""It was just a proud moment to represent my country and bring back home win." Kirsten Sweetland, told reporters: ""I am extatic it was not expected at all and it is even more exciting for me." Magali Dimarco from Switzerland and Russian Alexandra Brukanov, were the runners up who went away with $10 000 and 44 points each. Taking third place was German Pilz Christiane and Vladimir Polikapinko of Ukraine.

Now the major challenge for Triathlon South Africa is to take the sport to former disadvantaged communities. Gideon Sam, the TSA president, says: "To bring an event like this to South Africa means that we get to see the top athletes in this kind of sport - it has been great.  Yesterday we brought some of the youngsters from the townships to come and see what is it all about, so that they can aspire to be like some of these athletes."

In total 170 athletes participated in this world cup sporting event. Now they will turn their attention to the upcoming Beijing Olympics.



2007 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup Final Men's Results:
1st - Hendrik De Villiers (RSA) 1:52:53
2nd - Volodymyr Polikarpenko (UKR) 1:52:56
3rd - Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 1:53:01
41st - Colin Jenkins (Hamilton, ON) 1:56:25
55th - Kyle Jones (Oakville, ON) 1:59:22
DNF - Brent McMahon (Victoria, BC)

2007 Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup Final Women's Results:
1st - Kirsten Sweetland (Victoria, BC) 2:03:32
2nd - Magali Di Marco Messmer (SUI) 2:03:47
3rd - Christiane Pilz (GER) 2:03:49
DNF - Christine Jeffrey (Guelph, ON)
DNF - Carolyn Murray (Edmonton, AB)

Top three runners at world cup triathlon 2007 held in Richards Bay South Africa

Source: Runners web