It was a cold and windy start to the Ironman African Championship in Gqeberha on Sunday morning. An easterly wind created choppy sea conditions and the organisers decided to halve the distance of the swim leg to 1.9 kilometres.

Jesper Svenson from Sweden was the first out of the water in a time of 21 minutes 59 seconds. The hometown favourite and former champion, Kyle Buckingham exited the ocean in 11th place.

Imogen Simmons from Sweden was the first female out of the water.

Magda Niewoudt was the first South African out of the water in 5th place.

The athletes are now on the 180 km cycle leg of the triathlon before they tackle the full marathon of 42.2 km to finish it off.

The event makes a welcome return to Gqeberha after a hiatus of nearly two years due to the pandemic.