Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
AS the curtain came down on the 2017 Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup, Triathlon Zimbabwe president Rick Fulton was a happy man with how things went in an event that marked its 10th anniversary. Thirteen international athletes from Germany, Namibia, South Africa and Japan took part in the elite men and women. Jonas Schomburg, competing under the International Triathlon Union and Japan’s Aoi Kuramoto, emerged victorious in the elite men and women categories at Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga.
Schomburg romped to victory in 2hours 1minute 30seconds for the 1500 swim, 40km cycle, followed by a 10km run. Kuramoto was the first to cross the finish line in the elite women in 2hours 21minutes 13seconds after taking the lead from the onset.
Fulton said they were pleased after successfully hosting their 10th Troutbeck event in a row. “From my point of view I think we delivered and we didn’t have any major problems out there and we got through it. It all went very smoothly. So from my point of view it was a great event.
“And certainly going forward I think the pleasing thing about it, this is the 10th anniversary of Troutbeck being on the International Triathlon Union sanctioned event from a circuit point of view. There is no other event on the African continent that has survived as long as Troutbeck,” said Fulton.
This was the inaugural year for Bonaqua water as title sponsor although Coca-Cola has been involved for the last four years with Schweppes water.
Other sponsors of the ATU include Hyundai, Bokomo, Bon Marche and DHL. Fulton attributed the success of the event to their sponsors and various stakeholders that have supported them over the years.
Of 13 athletes that took part, 11 completed the race as South Africa’s pair of Vicky Van Der Merwe and Maude Elaine Le Roux did not finish in the elite women with the latter having to pull out during the swim as she was not feeling well. Coca-Cola marketing activation manager, Vee Chibanda, said they are happy to be associated with the Troutbeck meet.
“It is a great honour for me to be a part of the proceedings today. 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of triathlon (Troutbeck event) in Zimbabwe and we are happy to be a part of Troutbeck,” said Chibanda.
Saturday’s meet also saw the national association announcing a team made up of 11 juniors and youths to represent the country at the African Triathlon Championships in Tunisia on May 6 and 7.
And 18 year-old Alexander Colegrave, who has been to the championships twice, is confident they will bring back home some good results as he competes in the sprint event Under-19 boys.
“That’s quite exciting I have actually been to Africa Championships two years before, So it’s nice to be back in the team. I am looking forward to the race and competition in Tunisia. The team going is quite strong so I think we should get top 10 for the three of us.
“I think the next month is going to be a lot of hard-work towards it, so it should be interesting. The last two years I have managed to get top 10, I came sixth and eighth. So hopefully this year I will improve on that and target top five,” said Colegrave.
Matt Denslow will have to choose the event he wants to compete in after making the grade for both the Under-19 boys and the youth super sprint for 15 to 17-year-olds.
African Triathlon Championships Team
Under-19 Boys: Alexander Colegrave, Gideon Benade, Matt Denslow.
Under-19 Girls: Gabby De Chassart.
Youth Super Sprint 15 to 17 year-olds
Boys: Matt Denslow, Marcel Paulser, Andoni Mutzuris, Brett Elliot.
Girls: Mikayla Colegrave, Andie Kuipers, Jamie-Lee Soper, Katie Dilmitis.