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Para-athlete is aiming high

A Bloemfontein para-athlete is aiming high and wants to complete the full Ironman in Port Elizabeth next year.

Not only does he aim to be the second athlete with cerebral palsy to complete this gruelling event, Nicholas Newman is also aiming to better the record of Bonner Paddock (16:38).

But first he is going to compete in the World Triathlon Championships for able-bodied athletes that will be held from 29 Augtust to 1 September.

Nicholas qualified for the event in Lausanne, Switzerland, by finishing fourth in the South African Triathlon Sprint Championships in his age group (35-39 years) and coming first in his age group in the para-event. The event (750 m swim, 20 km bike and 5 km run) was held at Maselspoort in January.

Nicholas is no stranger to sport success.

He holds eight world records to his name. From 2002 to 2011 he competed in javelin for the South African team.

In 2002 he earned a gold medal at the World Championships in Lille, France; in 2004 he earned a gold medal at the Paralympics in Athens, Greece; in 2006 he earned a silver medal at the World Championships in Assen, Holland; and in 2008 he earned a bronze medal at the paralympics in Beijing, China.

In 2013 he started participating in triathlon, and he qualified for the para-event at the World Championship in London where he finished 13th in his category.

He participated in a couple of Africa championships like the one in Egypt in 2016 where he came second.

In 2018 he started training for the half Ironman competition and competed in East London and Durban and did it again this year.

Now he wants to go all the way and show his worth in the 2020 full Ironman.

This IT network specialist finds the time to do lots of training.

He exercises at the Free State Sport and Science Institute three times a week, trains with the Naval Hill group under coach Leon Engelbrecht three to four times a week, swims three times a week at the gym and weekends he trains with the Ironman training group that go cycling or running.

He was invited to join the Free Wheelers cycling team earlier this year to take part in die Double 90 Cycle Race (180 km with 2 200 m elevation) in Clarens where they finished in seven hours.

A lot is still to come from this athlete that thrives on a good challenge.

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