The 2019 edition of the Bonaqua Troutbeck African Triathlon Union (ATU) Sprint Triathlon African Cup was successfully launched yesterday, with the organisers predicting this year’s event to be the biggest in history due to the high number of participants.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
This is the biggest event on the local triathlon calendar.
The Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga will yet again host the prestigious event, which has been slated for February 16.
An international field consisting of 21 elite men and nine elite women has so far registered to compete in the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup, making this years’ edition the biggest entry ever for the cup.
In addition, an inaugural ATU Junior Triathlon African Cup will be staged at the same venue, which will see Zimbabwe hosting junior elite athletes from Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa.
The supporting events on the day include an African Cross-Triathlon (Off-Road) Championship, Schweppes Corporate Triathlon Challenge, Zimbabwe Triathlon Championships over a number of events, Tri-Kidz and Trisports triathlon, Aquathlon (run-swim-run) and an Open Water Swim, all under the banner of the Bonaqua Troutbeck Multisport Festival.
This year marks the third anniversary for Bonaqua still water as the official title sponsor, although Coca-Cola has been involved with the sport for four years with Schweppes water.
Bonaqua Water is bottled by Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited on behalf of Coca-Cola. Other partners who are supporting the ATU include Bon Marche, DHL, Group Air and Tsebo-Servo.
“As the Coca-Cola system, which includes our bottling partner Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, we are glad that we have been able to maintain local sports development through sponsorships like Triathlon and other sports initiatives such as COPA Coca-Cola that we bank roll. The Bonaqua African Triathlon Union (ATU) Troutbeck is growing with each year, and attracting global athletes,” said Coca-Cola senior brand manager Vee Chibanda.
The Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup is a world ranking points for elite athletes within the International Triathlon Union (ITU) ranking system. This means the points scored by elite athletes will ultimately become Olympic Ranking Qualification points for Tokyo 2020.
The magnificent Troutbeck is well known as one of the world’s best resorts for sport and tourism due to the availability of safe, clean, disease and animal free water, good roads within perfect terrain as well as a friendly climatic environment.
In addition, Troutbeck Hotel has all the required amenities for such an international event.
Last year, German-based Jonas Breinlinger scooped the gold medal in the elite men race while the women’s race was won by Cindy Schwulst of South Africa.
Zimbabwe will be represented in the men’s elite race by Gideon Benade.