CAF Athletes Take On The 2017 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona
The countdown to the iconic IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is on. Five CAF supported challenged athletes will be out tackling the course on Saturday, October 14th alongside 2,000 able bodied athletes. Here are their stories:
- Competed at ITU Elite Paratriathlon level in the past, before switching to Para-Cycling five years ago.
- Turned to Ironman after missing the cut-off for the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 in an effort to continue challenging herself.
- After finishing Ironman 70.3 Haines City, Liz enjoyed it so much that she looked to continue competing in the sport.
- Coach Ralf Lindschulten encouraged Liz to try and qualify for Kona, which will be Liz’s first ever full IRONMAN race.
- Double Bronze Medalist UCI World Cup, Bilbao 2016.
- Bronze Medalist World Para-triathlon Championships, Auckland 2012.
- On April 2, 2016, Daniel competed in his first ever triathlon, IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, California
- Competed in IRONMAN 70.3 Buffalo Springs, one of only 3 national championships in the world with qualifying spots for IRONMAN World Championships. Daniel finished 4th & qualified for the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championship Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia.
- On September 4, 2016 Daniel became the IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion earning his spot for the 2017 70.3 IRONMAN World Championship. He then set a goal to qualify for Kona in 2017
- At the IRONMAN 70.3 Buffalo Springs, Daniel ended up finishing 1st 38 minutes ahead of 2nd place and qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii.
- South African scientist, researcher and athlete. Helen holds a PhD in Biochemistry as well as degrees in Genetics, Microbiology, Linguistics and Psychology.
- Helen is visually impaired, with 10% of normal vision. Her disability is caused by albinism.
- Helen is passionate about improving the lives of people living with albinism in South Africa and is the co-founder of the NPO Love, this Skin. She is currently a senior lecturer at the University of South Africa’s Institute of Science and Technology Education.
- In her spare time Helen tries to enthuse South African youths about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
- Helen is an avid runner and currently is the only visually impaired female triathlete competing in Africa.
LUIS FELIPE RODRIGUEZ
- Luis was injured in an automobile accident in 2000 while serving in the Navy.
- Luis was introduced to Paralympic Swimming which helped keep him busy and motivated. Along with swimming, Luis started college and later graduated in civil engineering.
- Three years ago, Luis started triathlon along with his brother. Initially using used equipment, he was inspired to get serious after seeing strong initial results.
- Since discovering the triathlon world, Luisa’s next dream was to race in the world renowned Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
- In June 2017, with the support of his brother, Luis competed in the IRONMAN 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake where the last two spots were available. Luis qualified with a 2nd place finish.
- Yannick competed as an elite triathlete for 15 years as part of the French junior and elite National Team. In 2004, at 29 years old, a bike crash during a training camp left severe nerve damage in his right arm and partial paralysis.
- Yannick started competing in adaptive sports and represented France in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Paralympic Games.
- In 2013, he returned to triathlon and qualified and competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in the debut of Paratriathlon.
- Kona will be Yannicka’s first full IRONMAN, which he aims to complete in under 10 hours.