Triple-Jump Champ Saddles Up for XCO

SA triple-jump champ Charlene Potgieter has retired for athletics, and without skipping a beat, announced her intention to take up cross-country Olympic (XCO), globally regarded as the most popular mountain bike discipline. Potgieter is pictured after one of her final appearances in national colours, jumping 13.90m in Benin in July 2012, to win Silver at the African Championship 2012. Photo: Courtesy Charlene Potgieter @chalanks on twitterSouth African woman’s triple jump champ, Charlene Potgieter has decided to retire from athletics after a record breaking year.

“I am extremely proud of my achievements and have had an amazing time involved in a sport that I dearly love.”

Potgieter said in the interview that it was a difficult decision to retire. “From breaking a 20 year old South African record, becoming South African Champ and finishing in 2nd at the African Championship – it has been a fantastic journey!” she added.

“I have decided to retire from Triple Jump, after a short and successful career. All of this would have been not been possible if it wasn’t for my coach Stephan Louw, who coached me for the last 3 years taking my distance from 12m to 13.90m. Also Kaai Preller who coached me in the early years of my career.”

Potgieter also paid tribute to “My massage therapist, Jean-Pierre Du Plessis, who held me together through injuries and helped me prevent many more, and especially my amazing husband Albertus, who has supported me for the last three years, and who has made it financially possible for me to have been able to compete, locally and internationally.

Also thanks to my family and friends who have supported me through all the highs and lows.”

The dynamic 27-year-old athlete now plans to take on mountain biking. After so many years of ups and downs of such a competitive life style, I have taken up Cross-Country Mountain Biking and with my new Coach Pierre Nel I’m looking forward to embrace the challenge that lies ahead.

Nel says: “The only mountain bike discipline hosted as an Olympic discipline, and globally the most popular mountain bike discipline, is cross-country Olympic (XCO). Of all mountain bike disciplines, XCO offers the most fun and consist of lap racing around a short circuit containing various obstacles that must be negotiated. Apart from physical fitness, XCO also requires bike handling skills.”

Follow Charlene Potgieter on her journey via Twitter: @chalanks


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