Cape Town - South
Africa’s Bradley Odendaal was among the leading sprinters at Lifesaving’s Sanyo
Bussan International Cup in Japan but his individual excellence on sand wasn’t
enough to advance South Africa’s overall team medal claim.
Africa’s queen of the beach sprints and the General Tire-Lifesaving SA National
Interprovincial and Interclub Champion Mandi Maritz was also strong in all her
races over the two days but collectively South Africa’s men couldn’t match the
consistency of their female team-mates.
Africa, bronze medalists a year ago, had to be content with fourth place after
a stunning two-day performance from hosts Japan ‘A’ upstaged the more renowned
New Zealand and South African challenge.
won the Sanyo Cup for the 10th successive time, but the biggest
surprise was the performance of Japan ‘A’.
Zealand are the current world champions but they are known for sending a more
youthful squad to the Sanyo Cup. They’ll be stronger at the world
championships, as will the likes of South Africa.
Zealand trailed Australia and Japan going into Sunday’s final day and fell just
short of overhauling Japan ‘A’.
having retained just four of the 2016 winning squad of 10, still proved a class
above the rest.
‘A’ team produced the most impressive team performance in Japanese history at
the Sanyo Cup and signaled the country’s intention to threaten the traditional
big three of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa at the world
Africa were weakened through the withdrawal of more experienced athletes but
coach Jay-Cee Thomson said the Sanyo-Cup experience would add to the
international depth and quality of South Africa in future events.
said there were many encouraging individual South African performances but that
as a squad Australia was a class apart.
This is reflected in the emphatic nature of their overall win.
Africa earned big points through the Female’s Rescue Tube race results of
Billson, Sasha-Lee Nordengen Corris, Jodi Cleworth and Mandi Maritz.
form in the beach flags and sprints also contributed heavily towards South
Africa's final tally, as did Odendaal's performances, but the rest of the squad
struggled to match the quality of Australia, Japan ‘A’ and New Zealand.
1. Australia 859
2. Japan ‘A’ 711
3. New Zealand 703
4. South Africa 591
5. USA 558
6. Japan ‘B’ 551
7. Netherlands 472
8. Hong Kong 315