The Zimbabwe Triathlon Association yesterday announced a strong 26-member team to compete in the 2012 South Africa National Triathlon Championships in Port Elizabeth next Sunday.
Heading Zimbabwes challenge is none other than South Africa-based Christopher Felgate, who is bidding to earn enough points to qualify for his second Olympic Games later this year in London.
Felgate, who will come face to face with some of the continents finest triathletes, is the countrys only elite athlete in both the men and womens categories.
While the shortage of elite triathletes in noticeable, Zimbabwe coach Wayne Davidson told NewsDay Sport that he still expected the team to return home with some medals from the championships.
The team was selected on performances from the National Triathlon Champs held at Mount Pleasant Pool last Sunday which acted as a preparatory race.
The SA Champs are very competitive but the team is brimming with young talent and Im confident we will return with some medals, said Davidson. The South African National Championships will also be good preparation for Zimbabwe ahead of the African Triathlon Championships in Mauritius on March 31.
Notable medal prospects include Laurelle Brown who won gold in the Under- 19 category last year before going on to do well at the Junior World Championships in Beijing, China.
Also chasing the top step of the podium in the age group categories is the Africas Under-15 champion Skye Davidson who resumes her battle with South Africas Robyn Lee Jones.
Brendon Michell is another one who is hoping to put in a winning performance after securing gold last time around, and recently managing a top 10 performance at the All-Africa Games in Maputo.
Elite men – Christopher Felgate
Under-19 girls: Laurelle Brown, Laura Hume
Under-19 boys: Brendon Mitchell
Under-17 girls: Domaria Erlank, Tyla Roelofsz,
Under-17 boys: Blake Rautenbach, Clemence Anschuetz
Under-15 boys: Philip Marcus, Drew Williams, Payne Connor, Kaye Mitchell, Chad Scallon
Under-15 girls: Skye Davidson, Rebecca Duncan, Karishma Patel, Helen Mitchell, Serena Rendell, Rachel Jeans
Under-13 boys: Taine Roelofsz, Bruce Benade, Devin Jennings, Keegan Smith
Under-13 girls: Lynn Melrose, Cameryn Davidson, Gabrielle de Chassart
Team manager – Amanda Michell
Head coach: Wayne Davidson