Madibaz’s Shane Kemp will take the next step in his budding triathlon career when he represents South Africa at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships in Chicago in September.
Kemp, who will compete in the 20-24 age group, was selected following a top performance for Eastern Province at last month’s national champs in East London.
“It took a while to sink in but it is quite a sublime feeling,” he said after learning of his selection.
Not only will it be the first time that the 21-year-old will be competing for his country, it will also be his first foray overseas.
“I feel proud to be able to have this opportunity and blessed beyond measure.”
The second-year interior design student first became involved in triathlon after joining a team with some school friends.
“I borrowed road bikes so that I could train and eventually, after pleading with my mother for many months, she got me my own in 2012.”
His career began to take shape after he partnered with coach Karen Zimmerman, who has also mentored Olympic marathon runner Lusapho April.
Of the three disciplines – running, swimming and cycling – Kemp said the former was his strongest.
He said he counted overcoming serious injuries among his career highlights.
Three years ago he was knocked off his bicycle by a car while training for the national duathlon champs.
“I was in hospital for nearly three weeks and didn’t put on a pair of running shoes or cycle for the next seven months.”
Last year, while training for the same race, Kemp crashed among a group of cyclists that again left him injured and unable to compete.
“So far, 2015 seems to be going according to plan at least,” he said.
Before heading to the United States, he will participate in the SA duathlon champs in July.
“Hopefully I will qualify for the duathlon Worlds, which has been my primary focus this year.”