Ashley impresses


Zimbabwe Triathlon athletes continue to impress in international competitions since they returned from South Africa with five medals at the African Triathlon Championships held in Durban, South Africa.

The tournament was held on May 9 . Australian-based Ashley Finaughty, who is one Zimbabwe’s most promising athletes, finished second overall in the elite women’s field which also combined the Under 23 women.

According to reports from South Africa, she exited the extremely tough 1 500m swim (35km/h wind) with South Africa’s Kate Roberts and Marie Rabie and the group stayed together for the 40km cycle section.

The four lap 10km run section saw Katie Roberts open up a lead over Finaughty who in turn stayed ahead of a fading Rabie.

The Zimbabwean finished in a commendable time of 2 hours 11minutes 34 seconds- 2 minutes 42 seconds behind Roberts from South Africa. Finaughty who was also the gold medalist for the Under 23 girls, remains Zimbabwe’s best hope for a women’s berth at the London Olympics in 2012. In the men’s elite field, overseas based Zimbabwean Ashley Lambert unfortunately did not complete the swim section owing to the surf conditions.

Chris Felgate who competed in the Beijing Olympics Triathlon exited the water with the lead pack of seven to start the cycle leg.

A puncture during this section forced Felgate to complete in the cycle section on his own and he eventually ran himself back to sixth position overall to finish in 2 hrs 29 seconds.

Sander Berk from Netherlands won the event in a time of 1 hour 55 minutes 12 seconds.

Young Skye Davidson who made quite an impression in March during the South African Championships won a silver medal in the girls Under 15 event.

The event was later reduced from Triathlon to Duathlon owing to the surf conditions.Duathlon is an athletic event that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then another running leg in a format bearing some resemblance to triathlon which consists of an additional swimming leg.

Pamela Fulton also won a gold medal in the ladies 40—44 age group for triathlon. Bronze medals also went to Blake Rautenbach in the boys Under 15 Duathlon and to Andrea Brown in the girls Under 19 triathlon.