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US-based Kuipers to miss Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup

Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup

ZIMBABWE will not have any representation in the elite class of the 15th edition of the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup in Nyanga next month after the country’s top female athlete Andie Kuiper pulled out due to school commitments in the United States.

Kuipers is currently at Lenoir-Rhyne University in South Carolina and is set to miss the flagship triathlon competition for the second year running.

Triathlon Zimbabwe (TZ) has thus put its faith in the juniors to carry the country’s flag in Nyanga.

“We would have wanted Andy Kuipers to compete in the elite class, but she has other commitments at school and it’s not practical to compete in the event given her time frame. Unfortunately, we do not have local representation in the elite level this year, but we will have junior elite representation,” event director Rick Fulton said.

“The junior event is an African Cup and very similar to the elite level race. The junior will be racing for the African ranking points and the importance of the junior rankings for the junior system in Africa is that there is a prize pool at the end of the year for the top three males and females from Africa Triathlon which helps with their development with equipment and travel to other events.

“Most importantly their ranking gives them exposure to other events and more important it gives them access to Africa Triathlon development camps which they manage on behalf of World Triathlon. From a development point of view, this is part and parcel of a similar system so that they prepare to go on to the Under-23 level before they can race at the higher elite level.”

On Monday, TZ launched the 15th edition of the country’s flagship annual Bonaqua Triathlon Africa Cup which is scheduled for the Nyanga’s Troutbeck resort on April 1.

According to TZ, at least 25 elite athletes and seven juniors are expected from countries such as Chile, Austria, Kazakhstan, Togo, Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, Ireland, Ukraine, Bermuda and Finland, among others. The athletes have already registered for the event.

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