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Aernouts and Swallow Untouchable in Ironman 70.3 Africa

World Endurance Africa confirms two cardiac arrests during the swim.

Aernouts starts season with win

Marko Albert showed some early season form by leading the men’s field out of the water 23:43 swim. The Estonian was follow within seconds by a chase pack of three that contained U.K.’s Mark Threlfall, Belgium’s Alex Zeebroek and American Kyle Leto.  A pair of the prerace favourites, Belgium’s Bart Aernouts and Ronnie Schildknecht from Switzerland found themselves three minutes off the pace after completing the single looped 1.9 km swim.

At the conclusion on the 90 km bike, Aernouts managed to not only eliminate his three-minute disadvantage from his swim, but had built up a two-minute lead overall on the field  coming into T2 on the strength of his race best bike split. Schildknecht  had the second fastest bike time on the day and that propelled him into second, with Albert coming into transition 30-seconds later.

Aernouts proceeded to pound out the fastest men’s run on the day and captured the Ironman 70.3 South Africa title in a time of 4:03:52. Schildknecht recorded a solid run and finished second, while Great Britain’s Tim Don forged his way past a fading Albert on the run to round off the podium with a 4:10:39 clocking.

Professional Men’s Results

1 Bart Aernouts (BEL) 04:03:52
2 Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) 04:06:22
3 Tim Don (GBR) 04:10:39
4 Marko Albert (EST) 04:12:10
5 Will Clarke (GBR) 04:13:46

Swallow too hot to handle

In the women’s race, Great Britain’s Jodie Swallow put on a display of dominance with here wire to wire win in the heat and wind in South Africa today.  The 2010 Ironman 70.3 world champion led the women out of the water and hammered out the second fastest bike and run splits on the day that yielded her a third Ironman 70.3 South Africa title with a winning time of 4:39:29. Great Britain’s Susie Hignett finished second with a 4:43:37, while Czech Republic’s Lucie Reed 4:44:18 clocking was good enough to place her third.

Professional Women’s Results

1 Jodie Swallow (GBR) 04:39:29
2 Susie Hignett (GBR) 04:43:37
3 Lucie Reed (CZE) 04:44:18
4 Natasha Gorrie  (ZAF) 04:45:27
5 Jeanni Seymour (ZAF) 04:48:11

World Endurance Africa confirms cardiac arrests at Spec-Savers IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa

By World Endurance Africa

World Endurance Africa confirms that two South African male athletes aged 29 and 37 suffered fatal cardiac respiratory arrest during the swim leg of the Spec-Savers IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa this morning, 20 January 2013.

The event Chief Doctor Izak Maree, confirmed that both athletes suffered cardiac respiratory arrest. Water safety attempted to resuscitate the athletes on scene and in the medical tent. They were then transported to St Dominic’s for further specialist investigation. After reassessment at St Dominic’s they were pronounced dead.

Both athletes had no reported history of cardiac or other medical conditions in terms of the medical details that the athletes reported to IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa.

We will be holding a minute’s silence at the awards ceremony in respect to the individuals and their families. In all the years in which we’ve staged our events, this is the first time that an incident of this nature has happened. World Endurance Africa, we express our sincere condolences to the families. It is a loss to the families and a loss to the IRONMAN 70.3 family – Keith Bowler, Managing Director World Endurance Africa.

As title sponsor, we feel devastated that two individuals, who engaged in IRONMAN 70.3 as a healthy and extreme sport, tragically lost their lives because of suspected cardiac arrest. Our sincere condolences are extended to their immediate family and friends of the of the athletes and as a sign of respect we have dropped our Spec-Savers branding flags on the pier to half mast and removed our flags at the finish line – Bryan Dowley, CEO Spec-Savers.

We express our deepest condolences to the family members and we feel it is very unfortunate that it happened as a result of a suspected cardiac arrest. At our first Buffalo City meeting will we have a minute of silence in respect to the athletes and their families. Unfortunately it is the first time that such a tragedy as occurred and we hope it will be the last – Cllr Zukiswa Ncitha, Buffalo City Executive Mayor.