Mandi Maritz is a favourite to get a medal. Photo: Supplied
Team South Africa’s women’s charge at the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide, Australia, reflects the powerhouse of KZN lifesaving, with all six squad members from the province.

Beach sprint queen Mandi Maritz, is among the favourties to medal in the sprints and flags. She dominated the South African interprovincial and interclub national championships earlier this year.

Durban Surf’s Maritz also starred at the Sanyo International Classic in Japan.

Marine’s Sasha-Lee Corris Nordengen captains the women’s squad which includes a further four Marine stand outs in Carmel Billson, Keyta Purchase, Bianca von Bargen and Kristin Bellingham.

Billson consistently has been a powerhouse in the surf and pool in all South African national, provincial and club competitions over the past two years. She has been South Africa’s most celebrated lifesaving female since 2016 and is among an elite group equally comfortable and successful in the surf and pool.

Billson influenced Marine’s overall success at the National Club Championships in Port Elizabeth and broke two Pool national records and scored the most individual points.

Nordengen has also been in outstanding form all year.

KZN also has a healthy representation in the senior men, youth women and youth men’s squad, and in 2018 have been without comparison from a club and provincial perspective.

Marine’s Martin Binnedal, who competed at the Commonwealth Games, also makes his first appearance at Lifesaving’s World Championships.

South Africa’s most seasoned competitor in the men’s senior events is captain Ryle de Morny.

Western Province-based De Morny has competed in every World Championship for the past decade and is the country's singularly most decorated World Championship medal winner.

De Morny is a World Championship gold medallist in the sprints and flag and in 2018 he was unrivalled in South Africa. De Morny is almost certain to feature among the medals in Adelaide.

Fish Hoek’s Notten brothers (Nick and Dominic) have also been the South Africa benchmark in the surf and open iron competitions in the last few years, and while Luke Nisbet did upstage (Dominic) Notten at earlier this year on the open iron, Notten took gold in the single surf ski.

South Africa’s youth representation is also strong with men’s captain Milan Erasmus having enjoyed gold when competing internationally this year. There will also be expectation on the talented Connor Botha, with the Botha family’s lifesaving history among the most renowned in the country.

Sulinke van den Berg captains the youth women.

New Zealand are the defending champions, but hosts Australia have been the most impressive in all international competitions since the 2016 World Championships.

The Australians will be favourites to win the overall title.

* Visit www.lifesaving2018.com for all the daily news from the Lifesaving Rescue World Championships in Adelaide, Australia.

@mark_keohane

Sunday Tribune