PORT Elizabeth-born triathlete Kyle Buckingham achieved one of his major targets of the year when he was crowned 30-34 agegroup champion in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas at the weekend.
Competition rules state that, as long as the participant turns 30 this year, he is eligible for the 30-34 age-group.
The former Victoria Park pupil, who turns 30 in December, finished 32nd overall and came home in a time of four hours 15 minutes, about 21 minutes behind professional winner Sebastian Kienle, of Germany (3:54:02).
Earlier this year, Buckingham gave an impressive performance in the SpecSavers Ironman SA event in Port Elizabeth, being the first age-group athlete home, as well as the first South African to cross the line in 8:34:34.
Following that, Buckingham, who is in the verge of turning professional, said his big objectives for the year were to win his age-group in the world championship 70.3 and Ironman events.
Despite a swimming leg well below his normal standard, Buckingham knocked off his first target in Las Vegas and he will now turn his attention to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
He will continue training in the US for the world champs on October 12.