Don’t expect fireworks just yet, but South African triathlete Mari Rabie is confident of a strong showing at the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town this Saturday. The South African will be one a few local women racing on Saturday against some of the world’s best triathletes. Other South Africans on the starting line are Gillian Sanders, Vicky Van Der Merwe and Anel Radford. Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town will be the fourth race in the World Series after Abu Dhabi, Auckland and Gold Coast.
Last year’s Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town was Rabie’s first ITU race since the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Rabie says: ‘It felt like a mini-comeback for me. But a mere two months later I was diagnosed with a heart condition, myocarditis. I had to rest for eight months. So this year is even more of a comeback than last year. I have only started training in February. My mindset is pretty much the same as in 2014. I just want to see what I am capable of. The competition will the good and I have to be realistic about my expectations for the race. I just want to focus on myself rather than try and compete with some of the best triathletes in the world.’ Rabie has always been a strong swimmer.
She says: ‘Despite resting for eight months my swimming is still competitive and I must use that on the day. I am still working on getting stronger and better in the other two disciplines. I will be solid on the bike and run. No fireworks though. Three months ago I wasn’t allowed to get my heart rate up and on Saturday I will be in action on the highest level again. For that I’m grateful. That is my victory.’ Rabie has been racing overseas in some World Cup races and she finished second at the South African Xterra (off-road triathlon) Championships at the end of February where she raced against World Xterra Champion and one of the favourites for Saturday, Flora Duffy from Bermuda. One hundred and thirteen elite triathletes from 80 countries will participate in this year’s Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town.
This will be the fourth event in the ten city tour, which finishes in Chicago later this year. It is only the second time that a leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series will be hosted on the African continent, with the finish at the brand new Green Point Athletics Stadium. The Elite Women’s race will take place on Saturday, 25 April from 14:55 until 17:15, and the Elite Men at the same times on Sunday, 26 April.
Participants have the option to enter either the Sprint or Olympic distance and para-triathletes (PT2 – PT5) can enter the Sprint event. Team relays for both distances are also on the schedule and entrants can participate from the age of 11. The Sprint distance includes a 500m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run. The Olympic distance includes a 1 500m swim, a 40km cycle and a 10km run.
The minimum age for the Olympic individual is 18 and for teams, 16. Schools are also welcome to enter teams in this special category. Late entries will still be accepted.