Felgate disappoints in SA

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Olympic hopeful and top Zimbabwean triathlete Christopher Felgate continued his build-up to this month’s South African and African Championships with a sixth-place finish at the Momentum Health National Duathlon Series in Pretoria recently.

The South Africa Triathlon Championships will take place on March 18 and will be followed by the Africa Triathlon Championships in Mauritius two weeks later.

Felgate, still hoping to qualify for the London Olympic Games in July, crossed the finishing line in 1:35,06 behind eventual winner Erhard Wolfaardt from South Africa.

The duathlon event consisted of a 5km run, 40km bike ride and finally 2,5km run.

Unlike a triathlon, the duathlon event consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling and then another running leg in a format bearing some resemblance to triathlon.

It is similar to triathlon, with the key difference being the absence of a swimming leg.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport from his base in South Africa yesterday, Felgate said he was not happy with his performance, but said the duathlon event had given him a good platform to prepare for upcoming events.

“I wasn’t happy with my performance this weekend. Duathlon doesn’t suit me that well, but it’s always a great stepping stone for triathlons and a great way to improve on race and running fitness,” he explained.

“My main focus at the moment is on the South African Championships to be held in Port Elizabeth in two weeks and the Africa Championships in Mauritius on March 31.”

Felgate is eyeing a second consecutive appearance at the Olympics after he qualified and competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics courtesy of IOC Solidarity Funding and a scholarship supplied by the International Triathlon Union.

Asked if he was still confident of qualifying for the London Games Felgate said: “Obviously I am hoping to qualify for the Olympics, but I will only be in a position to know if I get a chance of qualifying after the African Championships in Mauritius.

“There are also plenty of big races coming up where I need to score points to get myself into the required Olympic ranking position,” added Felgate.