Iron Lady Amica de Jager set for glory
Durban Surf’s Amica de Jager dominated among the females at the recent Wimpy Lifesaving South Africa’s provincial club competition and her week got even better with confirmation that she will lead the womens’ challenge for Team South Africa at the 2020 Sanyo Bussan Cup in Fukuoka, Japan in June.
De Jager is the form female athlete in Lifesaving and one of the individual favourites at the Wimpy Lifesaving Interclub National Championships, to be held in Port Elizabeth from March 19-26.
Kwazulu-Natal’s experienced Sasha Corris-Nordengen will also take part in Japan, with Carmel Billson unavailable. Billson has been the most dominant and prominent South African woman in the past five years, but recently has focused on her business career.
Jenna Ward, Jade Wilson and Paige Horne complete the women’s squad, with Daniel Jacobs, Ryan Chandler, Brayden Bergset, James Matthew and George Edwards making up the male line-up.
Edwards is currently in superb form and, despite his youthfulness, will be one of the big names at the nationals in Port Elizabeth.
Tayla Faulmann will manage the squad and Luke Nisbet is the coach.
De Jager, just 20 years old, won three golds, three silvers and one bronze as a junior with Team SA Rescue in the Netherlands in 2016.
She also won a silver at the Orange Stillwater Lifesaving Cup in the Netherlands in 2016 and took silver in the Surf Rescue Challenge in New Zealand in 2017.
De Jager, who won the Lifesaving Junior Female Athlete of the Year in 2017, was always the princess of junior lifesaving, but equally she has quickly progressed to the podium among the seniors.
She represented South Africa at the Sanyo Cup in Japan in 2018 and 2019 and showed her versatility in making Team South Africa for the International Surf Rescue in South Africa last year.
De Jager specialises in the Surf Swim and Iron Lady events, with the Iron Lady viewed as the most prestigious event on the circuit.
‘It is called the Iron Lady because it is the toughest and you get three for the price of one,’ says De Jager. ‘It is why I love the event so much. There is nowhere to hide and if you have a weakness it will be exposed.’
De Jager, who says her career highlight is being the only South African female to get into the World Interclub final for Iron Lady, feels she can become the most dominant senior female in South African Lifesaving. Her ambition will be helped with Carmel Billson’s retirement.
De Jager loves competing and jokes that the most courageous thing she has ever done is competing in maxing swell and coming out alive.
* Lifesaving South Africa also announced the VII Spanish International squad, which will compete in Torreivieja (Alicante), Spain on the 9th and 10th of May.
Zanie van Rensburg, Chloe le Roux, Guilma Lausberg, Mire Greyling and Deborah Dredge complete the youth women’s squad.
Elijah Dredge, Aiden Borman, Cullen Biddulph, Len-Douglas MacKay make up the youth men and Branden Willow leads a senior squad that includes Rudy van Graan, Rinus Hattingh and Wesley Schutte. Lauren Billson and Josh Kreft will manage the squad, with Ciska Bobbert the coach.