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Ryle de Morny sizzles at DHL Lifesaving championships in Gqeberha

Ryle de Morny, the most decorated male beach sprinter in South Africa and a former world champion, finishes ahead of Chevon Clarke at the DHL Lifesaving South Africa seniors and juniors National Club Championship in Gqeberha. Photo: Anthony Grote/LSA

Ryle de Morny, the most decorated male beach sprinter in South Africa and a former world champion, finishes ahead of Chevon Clarke at the DHL Lifesaving South Africa seniors and juniors National Club Championship in Gqeberha. Photo: Anthony Grote/LSA

Published Mar 24, 2022

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Kings Beach in Gqeberha was the appropriate venue for the return of South Africa’s sprinting royalty Ryle de Morny, who turned back the clock and turned up the heat as he sizzled to victory in the final of the senior men’s beach sprint on the opening day of the DHL Lifesaving South Africa seniors and juniors National Club Championship.

De Morny’s decade of lifesaving success has been celebrated in the colours of False Bay, but in 2022 he was representing Durban Surf and the investment in De Morny’s switch of clubs produced the desired winning result.

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The King of the Beach was back and again beating long-time friend, club, provincial and international team mate Chevan Clarke, who recently was a medal winner at the Africa Lifesaving Championships in Egypt.

ALSO READ: Clifton’s u14s dominant on final day of Nippers Surf competition in Gqeberha

The duo will battle for honours in the flags discipline, but De Morny continued to show his longevity and world class athletic ability in winning the sprint title, especially given a very understated build-up to the competition.

While De Morny was reminding everyone of his vintage and a decade of glorious sprint victories, teen sensation Tatum Botha was providing confirmation that she is the real deal and all power in doing the seemingly impossible and winning the u19 Iron title and an hour later claiming a dramatic victory in the seniors Iron title in defeating the favourite Amica de Jager.

Botha is just 17 years-old and it is testimony to her ability that she is competing in certain senior events, but to actually beat De Jager is without doubt her most famous win.

ALSO READ: Umhlanga’s Tatum Botha rocks DHL Lifesaving SA Championships

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All the athletes had to contend with familiar and testing winds in the friendly city, which was a departure from the earlier past of the week when the Nippers enjoyed near perfect surf conditions.

Botha, who competed in the Pool Competition at Newton Park in the earlier part of the week and was among the team medals, nearly upstaged junior world surfski champion Saski Hockley.

Hockley, though, found her best form to take the gold, having also been among the medals at Newton Park.

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ALSO READ: Icons Dawid and Nikkie Mocke show their pedigree at DHL Lifesaving SA Championships

The seniors and juniors swapped Newton Park’s pool for the surf and sand of Kings Beach on Thursday, and it was the northern brigade of Harties and Tuks who again proved strongest in the pool events.

Individual age category winners included Harties’ Linique Rowles (14 years-old female) with 40 points, Harties’ Neil Holtzhausen (14 years-old male) with 40 points, Clifton’s Savannah Voigt (15-16 female) with 38.5 points, Harties’s Antonie Pieterse (15-16 male) with 42 points, Tuks’ Kendra du Toit (female 17-18) with 47 points that included a South African record, Bloemfontein Sentraal’s Len-Douglas Mac Kay (male 17-18) with a competition high of 48 points, Umhlanga’s Sasha-Lee Nordegen and Durban Surf’s (Amica) de Jager with 38 points respectively in the female 19-29 and Tuks’s Kian du Toit with 41 points in the male 19-29 age group.

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Harties, with 256 points, were runaway winners in the combined 14-18 years-old category. Umhlanga (129 points) and Tuks (128 points) made up the final three, with Tuks’s senior having no equal over the three days and collectively totaling 174 points to Umhlanga and Durban Surf’s 38 points each.

ALSO READ: De Jager, Krieger and Corbett fly Durban Surf’s flag high at DHL Lifesaving SA Champs

Tuks were crowned overall junior and senior pool champions with 302.50 points, with Harties second with 284 points and Umhlanga third with 167 points.

IOL Sport

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