Bloemfontein’s versatile junior sportswoman, Jamey-Sue Vermaas, is on a roll. She has produced excellent triathlon performances in 2016 and from her upward spiral, especially her last two performances, it is evident that she means business in this gruelling endurance sport this year. Vermaas, who is still participating as a junior this year, has proved her worth two weeks ago when she clinched the South African junior title comfortably at Allemanskraal Dam.
On Saturday it was off to Zimbabwe where Vermaas wore the green and gold for the Rainbow nation at the ATU triathlon African Cup meeting in Troutbeck. Here the junior had to negotiate what is known in triathlon terms as the “sprint distance” (which entails a 750m swimming leg, 20km cycling distance and a final 5km run) – all continuously.
Vermaas had her work cut out during the swimming leg with fellow South African, Shanae Williams, leaving Vermaas in her wake by a reasonable margin. However, this did not upset the apple cart for Vermaas as she kept her cool closed the gap on the bicycle. When Vermaas passed Williams during the cycling leg, it was already clear that the Bloemfontein star did not travel to Zimbabwe to finish in minor placings. She passed Williams and opened a significant gap, which eventually proved proper enough to already smell victory.
Vermaas, whose running is improving by leaps and bounds, extended her lead over Williams over the last 5km running leg to such an extent that she eventually won the race by more than three minutes.
Vermaas won in a time of 1:15:44, while Williams had to settle for a distant second in 1:18:47.
At the mentioned SA championships at Allemanskraal Dam, Vermaas beat Williams into second place as well, but not by such a big margin. She then crossed the line 1:41 ahead of Williams.
The only other Bloemfontein athlete who was in action in Zimbabwe, was Madelaine le Roux, who started the race for elite woman. Unfortunately she could not finish the race had to drop out during the swimming (first) leg. – RUFUS BOTHA