Zimbabwe’s triathlon team returned from a successful tour of South Africa yesterday with three gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals from the South African Triathlon Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on Sunday.
Promising female triathlete Laurelle Brown carried on from where she left off last year with a gutsy come from behind victory over Kieran Grenfell of South Africa in the women’s Under-19 category.
Zimbabwe completed a podium clean sweep in the Under-15 girls with the 2011 African Continental Champion, Skye Davidson scoring an impressive victory over teammates Helen Mitchell and Serena Rendell.
According to reports from South Africa, Mitchell had led the race from the start, but was overpowered by Davidson with a typical storming run display. In the Under-13 girls Cami Davidson (sister to Skye) emulated her sister with a totally dominant display to record her first Continental win and lay down a marker for the future.
Gabriella De Chassardt rounded off a very impressive girls’ team with a bronze medal in the same race. In the male categories, Zimbabwe failed to secure any medals with young Bruce Benade coming fourth in the Under-13 boys while Marcus Philip settled for fifth in the same race.
Zimbabwe’s only elite triathlete and Olympic hopeful Chris Felgate put in a disappointing performance after finishing 12th in a race won by German Frans Loeschke.
Felgate was using the South African Championships to prepare for the African Triathlon Championships to be held in La Morne, Mauritius on March 31, where national team coach Wayne Davidson will take the best athletes to do battle against the finest triathletes on the continent.
Davidson tipped Felgate to put a much improved performance in Mauritius.
“Chris Felgate will remain our top priority in Mauritius and today’s poor result will only strengthen his resolve to put in a world-class performance in Mauritius. He is undoubtedly an exceptional athlete, who on any given day can win this race.
“As for juniors, Laurelle Brown is one we all expect will become our country’s flag bearer in the future, and now with this victory the pressure is on the rest of Africa to respond to her dominance. They will all be out to beat her, but she has more fighting spirit than any kid I have seen for a very long time and they will need to be at their best to stop her winning again,” added Davidson.