Top Zimbabwean and foreign triathletes will get a chance to book their tickets for the 2012 London Olympics, when the country hosts the sixth edition of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Troutbeck Cup in Nyanga on November 19.
The event will see triathletes competing in a 1 500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run. The cycle and run courses will consist of multi laps through the hotel complex.
Like last year, the event will be part of the Olympic qualification process.
Rick Fulton, the Zimbabwe Triathlon Association president, said several top athletes from Zimbabwe, Mauritius and South Africa are expected to take part in the Africa Cup.
“Several countries have confirmed participation and we expect hundreds of top triathletes to compete as they will use the cup to amass points to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
“Erhard Wolfhardt from South Africa, who is the defending champion in the men’s race and Fabianne St Louis from Mauritius, who is the defending champion in the women’s race, have both confirmed participation.
“Zimbabwe’s Chris Felgate, who took part at the last Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in 2008, will also be eager to do well as he has a very strong chance of qualifying for the London Olympic Games. At this stage he is neck-to-neck with Mahdi Essadiq from Morocco, but I’m sure he will be eager to collect crucial points on home soil,” said Fulton.
There are three tiers of events that make up qualifying rankings. These include the World Championships, the World Cup Series, Continental Championships and Continental Cups.
Felgate, who finished second behind Wolfhardt in last year’s edition, will go into the event well prepared after a courageous display at the Guatape ITU Triathlon World Cup in Colombia over the weekend where he finished 34th out of 75 participants. He qualified and competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, courtesy of IOC Solidarity Funding and a scholarship supplied by the International Triathlon Union. He came in position 42 at the Beijing Games.
Laurelle Brown, who finished fifth in Maputo before proceeding to take part at the World Series Grand Final in Beijing, Laurelle Brown, Shannon Wilson, Pamela Fulton, Brendon Michell, Corey O’Riodern are also expected to represent Zimbabwe in the Under-17 and U-19 categories.