Zimbabwe’s leading male triathlete Chris Felgate has qualified for the London Olympic Games following the lapse of the Olympic Games qualifying period over the weekend.
The qualifying period passed on Saturday with Felgate on top of the African rankings after his main rival Mehdi Essadiq from Morocco failed to garner enough qualification points during the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday.
The ITU World Triathlon in Madrid was the last race of the two-year Olympic qualifying period which started late 2010.
Felgate, who is now only awaiting official confirmation from ITU later this week, told NewsDay Sport from his base in South Africa that he was ready to make his second consecutive appearance at the Olympics.
“The qualification period for the Olympic Games ended over the weekend with my main rival Mehdi Essadiq from Morocco failing to beat my current ranking.
“It’s a nice feeling to finally know that I have qualified for the Olympics and I’m looking forward to making my second appearance at the Games.”
Felgate, who qualified and competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics courtesy of International Olympic Committee Solidarity Funding and a scholarship supplied by the ITU, said qualifying for the Olympics was tough.
“Obviously the qualification one was a long and tough process. It has been a long two-year period and there have been many ups and downs.
“I had to compete twice in South Africa, Mauritius, Brazil, China and the Philippines in 2012 alone, which was not easy. I want to thank the Triathlon Zimbabwe Association, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and my sponsors BSG for their support throughout the qualifying period,” said Felgate.
Felgate now joins swimmer Kirsty Coventry, rowers Micheen Thornicroft and Jamie-Frazer Mackenzie, marathon runners Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimayi Juwao and Sharon Tavengwa.
Track and field star Ngonidzashe Makusha has also qualified for the Olympic Games, but is now doubtful due to injury.