Durban school girl clinches gold at Youth Olympics
Days after clinching gold for South Africa in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires‚ teenage triathlete Amber Schlebusch is still in disbelief about her courageous win.
The 17-year-old Kloof‚ Durban‚ athlete was aiming for a top-ten finish‚ after the swimming‚ cycling and running challenge on Sunday.
Instead the Durban Girls’ College Grade 11 pupil’s efforts on Sunday secured her the women’s triathlon gold medal.
Despite a “bad swim”‚ Schlebusch shone in the running leg of the event‚ crossing the finishing line in under an hour‚ beating Danish athlete Sif Bendix Madsen and Switzerland’s Anja Weber‚ who took the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Speaking from Buenos Aires‚ Schlebusch told TimesLIVE her win “feels amazing”.
“I’m still in disbelief. It felt surreal running down the finishing straight knowing that I has fought until the very end to take the win.
“I’m so glad all the hard work paid off.”
The teenager is no stranger to the podium.
Apart from winning the KZN Champs and SA Champs‚ earlier this year Schlebusch secured second place in the Tiszaujvaros ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup and third in the Holten Junior European Cup.
“These two races were a breakthrough for me as they were my first international podiums. I also represented South Africa in the mixed team relay in Germany.”
Schlebusch took to triathlon events when she was 14.
“I started off as a swimmer and moved into triathlon as I watched my mum compete in a few races and she encouraged me to give it a try.”