BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
Triathlon Zimbabwe (TZ) president Dave Ellis has tipped the country’s representatives at the 14th edition of the annual Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup to pick valuable international points despite the event coming unusually early in the season.
The rescheduled multi-sport event, which encompasses Africa Triathlon Cup, Junior Africa Cup and TZ National Championships will be staged this Saturday at Troutbeck resort hotel in Nyanga.
Preparations for the international event are almost complete with at least 140 participants having registered to compete across all the events at the beginning of the week.
Ellis said hopes were high that local athletes would rise to the occasion early on in the triathlon season as he gave an update on the preparations.
“We have great expectations this season for our athletes based on their previous performance at the Africa Championships in Egypt,” Ellis told NewsDay Sport.
“We have had problems competing in this part of the early season and even training because of the lockdown so this event is quite early for our athletes since our season has just commenced.
“All things are starting to come together and this event is a ranking points event for elite Under-23 and junior international athletes who will be coming to the event.”
He added: “We are hosting athletes from Luxemburg, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya and Namibia, among others, and obviously we have also got Zimbabweans who are racing. They will be racing in the elite and junior elite categories and they are going after ranking points, which is part of the World Triathlon system for this level of athletes.”
Zimbabwe will be represented by Greer Wynn in the Elite Women’s event, George Ascott, David Knox and Marcel Paulser in the Junior Men category.
Makanaka Mawere and Jess Fuller will fly the country’s flag in the Junior Women competitions.
The event is also open to all recreational athletes, with a number of competitions such as mountain bike racing, off-road triathlon, open water swim, corporate team triathlon challenge and athletes as young as 10 and 11 doing very short race events, on schedule.
“It’s good for local athletes to be able to experience this level of organisation and this event and they can watch elite athletes as they perform because these are extremely talented and good athletes,” Ellis said.
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