Oamaru’s Reubyn Bisschops won gold the 2014 Triathlon Noumea, an international triathlon held annually in New Caledonia on Sunday.
Bisschops, representing New Zealand, won the event from fellow New Zealander Deborah Lynch.
The selection criteria was stringent but Bisschops’ improvement under the guidance of world-renowned coach John Hellemans saw the 21-year-old’s performance level improve dramatically.
Bisschops said she was behind reigning champion Lynch in the swimming section but technique was her priority.
“I was two minutes down on the swim from Deborah Lynch but was pleased with that as I have been solely concentrating on swimming technique over the last few months, so speed has had to take second place,” she said.
“The bike had some steady climbs, but was a very scenic ride up and down the Noumea coast. Riding on the right hand side of the road which was interesting.”
“The run was extremely hot, exceeding 30 degrees, so I had to try and focus and pretend that it wasn’t hot so I could run Deborah down on the run.
“The local support was amazing and overwhelming with people yelling ‘allez, allez’ (go in French).
“I ran into first place and was very pleased with that as the heat was starting to take its toll, I would like to thank my North Otago community for their support.”
Local Triathlon enthusiast, Adair Craik said Bisschops is fast becoming an elite triathlete and insisted any donations are welcome to help fund the local’s continued rise in the sport.
“Bisschops is now concentrating on becoming an Elite triathlete and has been accepted into a new coaching programme for Triathlon Youth,” she said.
“The Noumea organisers financed her flights from Auckland and accommodation, however this type of generosity is rare and Reubyn will need substantial funding to continue her journey to become a professional athlete.
“There is no doubt in our mind that Reubyn will make it, but she needs people to help her.”
Donations can be made to the Reubyn Bisschops Fundraising Account at ANZ.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: FACEBOOK – Reubyn Bisschops with fellow New Zealander Deborah Lynch at the 2014 Triathlon Noumea in New Caledonia.