The Lifesaving South Africa national squad showed their class finishing 8th overall at the 2022 ILS Lifesaving World Championships held in Riccione, Italy.
Every two years the ILS Lifesaving World Championships showcases excellence in lifesaving sport and rescue; attracting the most talented and skilled lifesaving athletes from around the world to compete for the title of World’s best.
This was set to take place in 2020, but due to the pandemic, was postponed to September 2022 with a reduced programme at the expense of Interclub, IRB and Surfboat events. Only the National Teams Youth, Open, and master’s Championships were held.
With a relatively inexperienced squad, South Africa showed their dominance in the Surf events. The Proteas finished 3rd in the Championships in both the Open and Youth Surf competitions and placed 8th overall in the combined Open and Youth for Surf and Pool.
The South African Junior athletes were exceptionally strong on the sand with Jenna Tarr taking silver in the Junior Girl’s sprint and Nikki Challenor just missing out on a medal to finish 4th. Jenna also finished 5th in the Beach sprints and the Junior Girls team showed their mettle to claim silver in the Beach Relay.
In the Junior Boy’s Beach Sprints, Max Davidson won bronze and was closely followed by Samuel Booysen in 4th. The biggest celebration, though, was for Samuel who outshone his strong opposition from Spain to win gold for South Africa in the Beach Flags.
Samuel showed a wonderful display of courage to keep fighting back against the rest of the field. In the final run, he slipped on his take-off, but with speed, managed to outdo his competition to take gold and the title of World Champion.
Another World Champion is that of junior Naor Lombard who finished in the top 6 in all his individual events with the bronze medal in Ironman, Taplin and Mixed Ocean Lifesaver events, 4th in Board Rescue and 6th in the Board Race. His finest moment came when he slipped up the inside of the lead pack who were busy holding off his young teammate Levi Mayes, winning the gold to claim the World Champion title in the Surf Ski.
The Junior Girl’s duo of Georgia Singe and Tatum Botha were impressive in their events with Georgia placing 4th in Ironwoman, 5th in Board while Tatum placed 8th in Ironwoman, 9th in Board, 5th in Surf Swim and the team events included a 4th for Taplin, Board Rescue 5th, Tube Rescue 8th and a bronze medal for the Mixed Ocean Lifesaver event.
The South African Open team showed their experience in the Beach Flags with former double World Champion Ryle de Morny taking the silver medal, while Chevan Clarke had to bow out due to injury in 6th place. Ryle also claimed bronze in the Beach Sprint, with Chevan finishing 6th while the Men’s Beach Relay team pushed hard to finish 5th.
In the women’s Flags, Ellen Kleinsmidt placed 8th and Melissa Corbett was knocked out at 15th. Melissa pushed hard on the sand, coming in 6th in the Women’s Beach Sprints.
In the Surf, the Open team gave a good account of themselves. Mark Keeling stole the show to take the World Championship title, this time in senior Surf Ski, making it a double victory for our men, and showing Team South Africa’s strength in the water. Mark was in the lead pack from the start and put down the hammer to claim gold and gave a captain’s salute as he crossed the finish line.
The talented duo of Sasha Corris and Amica de Jager showed their class with Sasha placing 9th and Amica 12th in the Ironwomen, 13th and 14th in Board, 13th in Taplin, 6th in Mixed Ocean Lifesaver, 8th in Tube Rescue and Sash placing 8th in Surf Swim.
Another talented duo of Cheyne Haupt and Luke Nisbet added points to South Africa’s overall tally with Cheyne 8th and Luke 9th in Ironman, Cheyne 9th and Luke 10th in Board, 5th in Tube Rescue, 3rd in Men’s Taplin, and Cheyne also placing 9th in Surf Ski and Luke 10th in Surf Swim.
In the Pool, the Open and Youth teams added valuable points to their overall tally, which cannot be underestimated, and this helped Team South Africa finish 8th overall with a total of 784.50 points.
In the Senior Pool events, Kendra du Toit placed 6th in both the 200m Super Lifesaver and 100m Manikin Tow with fins, 7th in 100m Manikin Carry with fins, with the Women’s team placing 2nd in the 4x25m Manikin Relay and 5th in the 4 x 50m Obstacle Relay (B finals).
Len-Douglas MacKay finished 6th in the 100m Manikin Tow with fins, and 4th in 200m Super Lifesaver, which saw him breaking the South African record.
Aiden Bornman shone in the Juniors Pool events, being the only SA team member to make three A finals, finishing 7th in 200m Obstacle, 8th in 200m Super Lifesaver and 8th in 100m Rescue Medley. Aiden also placed 6th in 100m Manikin Tow with fins, 1st in 50m Manikin Carry, 7th in mixed 4x50m Obstacle Relay, 8th in 4x50m Medley Relay (B finals).
The Junior Girls team results were impressive; in the 4x50m Obstacle Relay they powered to 2nd place, in the 4x25m Manikin they claimed 1st place, and in the 4x50m Medley Relay they finished a credible 5th (B finals).
“The team displayed some great results in both the youth and open competitions.
We set out to place in the top three and that’s what we achieved. We are extremely happy with the team’s overall performance, South Africa walk away with a nice basket of medals and several SA records in the pool. The team really did their best and the results speak for themselves,” commented Mike Rodda, National Team Manager.
Congratulations to all the athletes on a successful World Championships, and a huge thank you to the management, coaches, and supporters.
Full results for South Africa:
Open and Youth Overall
8th with 784.50 points
- Surf: 3rd, 278.50 points
- Pool: 16th, 33 points
- Overall: 9th, 311.50 points
Open individual results:
- Ironwoman: Sasha Corris 9th, Amica de Jager 12th
- Ironman: Cheyne Haupt 8th, Luke Nisbet 9th
- Women beach sprint: Melissa Corbett 6th
- Men beach sprint: Ryle de Morny 3rd, Chevan Clarke 6th
- Men beach relay 5th
- Women board: Sasha Corris 13th, Amica de Jager 14th
- Men surf ski: Mark Keeling 1st, Cheyne Haupt 9th
- Women rescue tube rescue: SA 8th
- Men rescue tube rescue: SA 5th
- Women Taplin: SA 13th
- Men Taplin: SA 3rd
- Women Beach Flags: Ellen Kleinsmidt 8th, Melissa Corbett 15th
- Men Beach Flags: Ryle de Morny 2nd, Chevan Clarke 6th
- Men Board: Cheyne Haupt 9th, Luke Nisbet 10th
- Women Surf Swim: Sasha Corris 8th
- Men Surf Swim: Luke Nisbet 10th
- Mixed Ocean Lifesaver: SA 6th
- Women 4 x 50m Obstacle relay: 5th B final
- Women 100m manikin tow with fins: Kendra du Toit 6th B final
- Men 100m manikin tow with fins: Len-Douglas Mackay 6th B final
- Women 4x25m manikin relay: SA 2nd B final
- Women 200m Super Lifesaver: Kendra du Toit 6th B final
- Men 200m Super Lifesaver: Len-Douglas Mackay 4th B final
- Women 100m manikin carry with fins: Kendra du Toit 7th B final
- Mixed 4×50 Lifesaver relay: SA 7th B final
- Surf: 3rd, 394 points
- Pool: 10th, 79 points
- Overall: 7th, 473 points
- Ironwomen: Georgia Singe 4th, Tatum Botha 8th
- Ironman: Naor Lomboard 3rd, Christian Davidson 6th
- Women board rescue: SA 5th
- Men board rescue: SA 4th
- Women beach sprint: Jenna Tarr 2nd, Nicolette Challenor 4th
- Men beach sprint: Max Davidson 3rd, Samuel Booysen 4th
- Women beach relay: SA 2nd
- Men beach relay: SA 6th
- Women board: Georgia Singe 5th, Tatum Botha 9th
- Men surf ski: Naor Lombard 1st, Levi Mayes 4th
- Women tube rescue: SA 8th
- Women Taplin: SA 4th
- Men Taplin: SA 3rd
- Women Beach flags: Jenna Tarr 5th
- Men Beach Flags: Samuel Booysen 1st, Max Davidson 14th
- Women surf ski: Georgia Singe 6th
- Men board race: Levi Mayes 4th, Naor Lombard 6th
- Women surf swim: Tatum Botha 5th, Holly Cleworth 11th
- Men surf swim: Christian Davidson 6th, Aiden Bornman 25th
- Mixed Ocean Lifesaver: SA 3rd
- Men 200m obstacle: Aiden Bornman 7th in A final, Christian Davidson 4th in B final
- Women 4x50m obstacle relay: SA 2nd in B final
- Men 4x50m obstacle relay: SA 7th in B final
- Men 100m manikin tow with fins: Aiden Bornman 6th in B final
- Men 50m manikin carry: Aiden Bornman 1st in B final
- Women 4x25m manikin relay: SA 1st in B final
- Men 200m super lifesaver: Aiden Bornman 8th in A final
- Women 4x50m medley relay: SA 5th in B final
- Men 4x50m medley relay: SA 8th in B final
- Men: 100m rescue medley: Aiden Bornman 8th in A final
- Mixed 4x50m Lifesaver relay: SA 4th in B final
For more information visit www.lifesaving.co.za or follow Lifesaving South Africa on social media @LifesavingSouthAfrica.