At least 200 local athletes and triathlon enthusiasts are set to take part in the rescheduled 14th edition of the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup which is set to take place at Troutbeck Inn Resort in Nyanga tomorrow.
The international multisport event will see 31 elite senior and junior triathletes battle it out with representatives from eight countries for top honours.
As has been the case in past events the Africa Triathlon Cup will run concurrently with the Junior Africa Cup, Triathlon Zimbabwe National Championships and corporate competitions.
African countries dominate the international contingent that checked at Troutbeck yesterday with Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal and Zambia represented.
Luxemburg is the only European country represented at the event as travel restrictions stifled participation of athletes from Germany, England, Switzerland, Canada and Russian to mention a few, who usually grace the competition.
Event Director Rick Fulton is pleased with the turn out considering the prevailing situation.
“We are pleasantly surprised by the amount of international elite and junior elite athletes that have come in for this event this year considering that we are still in Covid-19 lockdown. If you look at it there is not much of a difference compared to previous editions before Covid because the numbers are good,” Fulton told this publication.
“As for local athletes, entries were still piling up and we had well over 200 athletes who had registered to participate in the different competitions before the close of the process yesterday. For the main competitions we have 31 elite and junior elite athletes who will be flying the country’s flag,” Fulton added.
Fulton said everything is now in place for the staging of yet another high standard event considering that preparations were almost complete when the event was postponed at the beginning of the year.
“We have been here since Monday to make sure that everything is in place. We have always been ahead of schedule considering that this event was postponed when preparations were at an advanced stage. Otherwise all we needed was to do the set up and ensure that we apply the new Covid-19 protocols.
“Today we are going to have athlete registration for the event, Course familiarisation and briefing ahead of the races on tomorrow,” Fulton said.
The Elite Women is scheduled to start at 1pm while the Elite Men’s start time is 2:30 pm.
Zimbabwe will be represented by Greer Wynn in the Elite Women’s event while George Ascott, David Knox and Marcel Paulser compete in the Junior Men class.
Makanaka Mawere and Jess Fuller will represent the country in the Junior Women’s events.
Some of the country’s top athletes namely, Matt Deslow, Mikayla Colegrove and Andy Kuipers were impressive at the annual international event for Triathlon Zimbabwe but have university commitments this time around.
Coca-Cola Africa are the title sponsors of the event through their Bonaqua bottled water brand while Bon Marche Zimbabwe, Cimas i-Go, Rooneys Event Infrastructure, Toyota Zimbabwe, African Sun Hotels and Troutbeck Inn Resort are key partners.