Local favourite Matt Trautman and British star Jodie Swallow cruised to victory on Sunday, successfully defending their men’s and women’s titles at the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 triathlon in East London.
Trautman took the lead in the early stages of the 90km bike leg, after catching British athlete Mark Threlfall who had opened a gap on the 1.9km swim.
Fellow South African Kyle Buckingham caught Trautman at the halfway turn on the bike, but Trautman broke away again and held a 31-second advantage at the start of the 21.1km run.
He gradually drew further clear to cross the finish line in 4:01:52, well ahead of Buckingham who ended second in 4:09:10, with compatriot James Cunnama taking third position.
Swallow, meanwhile, led from start to finish to earn her sixth straight title in the women’s race.
She won in 4:23:28, nearly 20 minutes ahead of second-placed German Astrid Stienen (4:42:00).
Annah Watkinson was the first SA woman home, grabbing the final spot on the podium.