BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Triathlon Zimbabwe (TZ) is looking to introduce the duathlon series during winter this year in order to keep top athletes active during the offseason break.
The triathlon season in Zimbabwe usually runs from September to April and goes on a break during the winter season, but TZ has decided to promote duathlon, which consists of a run, biking and another run and is governed by the International Triathlon Union.
“We are also going to have a duathlon series during the winter months which negate the swimming element in the triathlon events. We have developed that to try to help athlete out of that (duathlon) into national event triathlon events,” TZ president Dave Ellis said.
TZ has stepped up preparation for the 2022 Bonaqua Troutbeck Africa Triathlon Cup which is set for April 2 in the resort town of Nyanga which traditionally marks the end of the local triathlon season in the country.
“Duathlon is a big sport elsewhere and it’s a big section of our sports too and one of our athletes competed in Madrid a couple of months ago. He didn’t podium, but he did pretty well and it’s a good initiative to have that as a different option.
“It also gives us continuity to the season because otherwise at the end of April everyone tend to disappear so that one initiative to keep the sport going,” Ellis added.
Triathlon has suffered under the COVID-19-induced lockdown for the past two years, but the sport has made great strides, with the Troutbeck event being the second this season, following the one held in September last year.
But this year the event was moved back to its usual period at the end of the local triathlon season.
“It’s not an ideal time to have it (the Troutbeck Africa Traithlon Cup) in September because it doesn’t fit in with some of the World Triathlon cycles for the athletes to gain points. We wanted to take it back to this part of the year because it’s more conducive for athletes to come through and the climatic condition are much nicer at that time of the year,” he said.
Last year Troutbeck Africa Triathlon Cup saw a record number of athletes turn out and countries represented despite the COVID-19-induced travel restrictions around the globe.
However, this year there is already an increase in the number of athletes who have registered to participate as well as countries represented across different classes.
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