BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
TRIATHLON Zimbabwe is set to hold its first event of the season, which will give local athletes an opportunity to fine tune for the annual Troutbeck 2021 Africa Triathlon Cup, at Mount Pleasant swimming pool in Harare on Sunday.
The Africa Triathlon Cup, which is normally held in February, was moved to September 25 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The development comes after the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions by the government made room for the triathlon season to resume in line with its normal cycle which commences this month and ends in April.
Triathlon Zimbabwe president David Ellis noted that the event will help the athletes to prepare for the international event slated for Troutbeck in Nyanga.
“This will be a crucial event for Troutbeck preparations although athletes have been busy training, a competitive race is paramount to getting used to being “race ready,” he said.
This weekend’s competition marks the beginning of their traditional triathlon series of events.
Distances on the programme include tritots, trikidz, trisport — trifun, trifit, supersprint and sprint.
“We had planned to start the season a couple of weeks ago, but due to the national lockdown, we were forced to cancel the ones prior to this which consisted of duathlon and triathlon events, but we are going to make this a full house of races,” Ellis said.
He added that preparations for the season have been an ongoing process as they are already repairing the road networks for the routes used on the bike segment and also taking care of the pool.
“We will prepare the various elements of the COVID-19 prevention measures which include barriers to negate spectator and athlete crowding and sanitising stations at various points at the venue. We will also erect all the bike racks and finish gantry.
“The ground has been maintained throughout the off-season, so this task should not be too arduous. Our athletes have been on their bikes and running as well, so fitness levels should be relatively good,” he said.
Meanwhile, Triathlon Zimbabwe is still in celebratory mood after the junior team displayed an outstanding performance, managing to bag five medals at the 2021 Africa Championships in Sharma El Sheikh, Egypt, a couple of months back.
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