Cape Town - Sport24 profiles two of the women expected to excel at the General Tire Lifesaving
South Africa National Club Championships in Port Elizabeth this Sunday, March
24 through to next Sunday, March 31.
Billson finished the South African 2018 season spearheading Marine Surf’s surge
to national champions and a week ago she was at the forefront of Marine’s
overall victory in the South African OpenWater Championships held in
Billson ranked first among the female seniors, with sisters
Lauren and Natalie completing the family podium placings. Marine’s Teegan
Hardwick made it a top four finish for Marine among the best of the female
strength of Marine at the next weekend’s Nationals will be from their women, be
it in the pool or surf.
There isn’t stronger than Billson, who last year combined her
excellence in the pool and surf to win 15 titles. The previous year she won a
record 17 provincial and national titles.
Marine team-mate Sasha-Lee Nordengen Corris was crowned 2018
National Overall Female winner but Billson’s effort in the pool and surf was
remarkable in the first year of the pool and surf championships being held in
the same week in the same city.
sprint and flags specialist Mandi Maritz is the best the country has ever
produced in the sport, and she has also been among the finest internationally
over the past decade.
Maritz will again be one of the headline acts at the sport’s
premier annual competition.
has confidence and form on her side, having shown her class with a silver medal
at last year’s World Championship in Adelaide, Australia.
Her success added to the gold she won at the 2010 World
Championships in Egypt, and the double bronze (sprint and flags) at the World
Championship in 2016.
Success and awards are part of the Maritz sporting DNA, and in
2017, she was honoured with the prestigious President’s Award for her
achievements in the sport and her contribution to lifesaving in South Africa.
Lifesaving South Africa president Dylan Tommy said Maritz’s
achievements set her apart from most, and that she was a unanimous choice.
Maritz, always in the medals at the World Championships, has
enjoyed competing at the International Sanyo Bussan Cup in Japan.
But her international feats have never diminished her desire to
bring her A game to the South African nationals.
“It’s the highlight of our season,” said Maritz.
atmosphere in Port Elizabeth last year was brilliant.
“It makes such a difference for one venue to host the surf and
pool competition, and bring together nearly 2 000 lifesaving athletes from
Nippers to the Masters.”
Maritz, typically, isn’t underestimating the challenge of the
younger Bianca von Bargen, who beat her at the 2018 KZN championships. Maritz
turned the tables at the national championships, winning gold in the sprint and
Tire is the primary sponsor of Lifesaving South Africa and in 2017 was the
first premier corporate to invest in the sport.