Tatum Botha took gold in the under-14 division. Photo: topfoto.net
Tatum Botha took gold in the under-14 division. Photo: topfoto.net

Durban Surf’s dynamic teenage duo of Tannah Smith (under-13) and Tatum Botha (under-14) lived up to their billing as among the best female nippers in country with outstanding performances on the first day of the General Tire Lifesaving South Africa National Championships at Port Elizabeth’s King’s Beach on Monday.

Tatum Botha’s father Dylan is an iconic figure in South African Lifesaving, having represented Team South Africa on three occasions and been a national champion on two occasions.

He has also for the past decade been one of the most influential coaches among the juniors.

Much is expected of daughter Tatum and son Connor, who is rated as one of the country’s leading 16-year-olds.

Neither disappointed, and while Connor was impressing in the Stillwater National Championships at Newton Park, his sister claimed the first family finals victory of the week.

Connor will compete in the Stillwater (Pool) and Surf events.

Tatum claimed the gold in the under-14 Run/Swim/Run and Smith took the honours in the under-13 Run/Swim/Run.

Her achievements this year include:

* KZN High Schools swimming
* 8 x national nipper titles (swims and run swim run)
* 2 x interprovincial surf lifesaving titles – Surf Swim under-13 and iron nipper combined under-13/14.

* 4 x South African Open Water Lifesaving titles 2018

Tannah Smith took the honours in the under-13 section. Photo: topfoto.net

Close to 2 000 competitors are in Port Elizabeth this week for the biggest ever lifesaving competitive extravaganza, which started with the Masters Pool and Surf competition this past weekend.

The Championships include more than 500 category races and finish on Saturday, April 7. The South African National Squad will also be named to compete in the World Championships later this year in Australia.

Local Port Elizabeth favourite Daniel Jones, who was part of South Africa’s Lifesaving Surf squad in New Zealand in 2017, is another competing in the respective Stillwater and Surf Championships. He was prominent in the heats on Day One.

Other to impress in the Pool included Tuks’ Richard Peach, Ally Chislett (Pirates), Travis Misdorp (Pirates) and East London’s Joshua Fenn.

The Fenns, another of the celebrated lifesaving family success stories, also had reason to celebrate with Jordan Fenn’s victory in the under-13 Run/Swim/Run.

Clifton’s Noar Lombard won the under-14 Run/Swim/Run.

Other winners included Fish Hoek’s Leah Winter in the female under-13 Beach Run, Matthew van Coller (Plett) in the male under-13 Beach Run, Scottburgh’s Christian Stanto in the under-14 Beach Run and King’s Beach’s Joshua Voigt in the under-14 Beach Run.

The Gous husband and wife pairing of Fanta and Tracy made it a victorious family affair on the opening day of General Tire’s National Lifesaving SA Masters Stillwater Championship at Newton Park.

Saturday’s opening day was exclusive to the Masters Pool Events and Summerstrand’s Fanta and Tracy Gous were among the best on show.

Fanta Gous was strong in most events in the 45-50 years age group and wife Tracy (in the 40-45 age group) dominated in the pool and was the standout female athlete. 

Among Tracy Gous’ victories was the 100-metre Mannikin Tow with Flippers event. 

Tracy Gous was the standout female athlete in the 40-45 age group. Photo: topfoto.net

Summerstrand’s Brad Reen was another top performer and Doug Herbert (50-55 years) got his week off to a good start.

Herbert is one of only a handful of athletes competing for the prestigious ‘Tough Athlete’ Prize in Stillwater and Surf Events.

Tracy Gous also excelled in Sunday’s Surf Masters, winning the Beach Sprint in the 40-45 year female age group,

Summerstrand’s Reen was another who starred in the Pool Events and also at Sunday’s Surf Masters.

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In one of the upsets of the day, Tyrone Wicombe of the Port Elizabeth based Seagulls Livesaving Club beat former world championship competitor Sihle (Trevor) Xaba of the Durban Surf Lifesaving Club in the final of the Men’s Flags, age group 40-44.

* For more information, visit www.lifesaving.co.za or follow the event on social media https://twitter.com/LifesavingSA


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