AS Triathlon Zimbabwe continue with their selection process for national junior and youth teams, it was another exciting weekend with triathletes getting the opportunity to accumulate points at an event held at Mount Pleasant pool in Harare yesterday.
Selection events are held over the duration of the season, culminating in the final selection race, which is the National Championships at Troutbeck in February next year.
Most of the leading juniors and youths graced yesterday’s event.
Luke Hacker came first in the juniors (Under-17/Under-19) men comprising of a 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run while Mikayla Colegrave led in the junior women’s section.
The youths compete in a 375m swim, 10km bike and 5km race.
The event was one of the several Triathlon Zimbabwe have held in the last weeks with the athletes earning points to qualify into national teams to compete outside the country next year.
Hacker was the first to cross the finish line and said despite yesterday’s high temperatures, it was an interesting race with the likes of Luke Steffens giving him a good challenge.
“It was an early start, which is nice but there is obviously the hot temperature, it’s really hot at this time of the day and it was a good turn up by everyone, it was good support today. Everyone who challenges me was here today,” said Hacker.
His target is the Africa Junior Cup at Troutbeck next year where he is aiming for a podium finish.
“Hopefully I can just keep on top until then and then maybe get a podium finish in February,” said Hacker.
Among the competitions the selected athletes are expected to represent the country is the South Africa Championships with some eventually making the team for the African Championships.
It was also a good day at the office for Colegrave who is leading in the Under-19 women section and for her it’s about knowing what is at stake.
“Selection races are always pretty important to me because we knew you need the points to be able to travel around the world. So, hopefully next year I will have enough points so I can be able to go and compete in the South Africa Championships and African Championships and travel around the world,” Colegrave said. The next big competition most of the triathletes are looking forward to is next month in Penhalonga where they get another chance to earn points.
Colegrave is one of those hoping for another good show there after a good start since the season got underway in September.
“It’s been really nice because my last race before the season was in March and it was just so heartbreaking the week before we were meant to go to South Africa Championships this year, (and all) our races were cancelled.
“Africa Championships were cancelled and it was hard to find motivation to train through the whole of the lockdown period and all these few months, so as soon as the season started it kind of helped you motivate yourself to keep pushing,” said Colegrave.
After coming second yesterday, Steffens is looking ahead with a positive mind.
“Well it’s quite early in the season, there is a big race in Penhalonga mid-December. It’s quite early so I will have to change my training, so I think some more hills that kind of stuff to get ready for that and then Troutbeck, which is next year, it’s also hilly, so I will be doing a lot of hills for South Africa Championships (as well),” said Steffens.
Anje Van As also had a good outing in the youths girls section (Under-13/Under-15) and is excited about the future.
The selection committee appointed by the executive board made up of Austin Jeans, who is the convener, Wayne Davidson and Craig Summers lead the selection process in liaison with national coach Pamela Fulton.