Zim Triathlon names team for African Champs

HARARE - The Triathlon Association of Zimbabwe (Taz) has announced a 15-member team to take part in the African Continental Championships in Morocco next month.

The tournament will also serve as qualifier for the World Championships to be held in London next year.

Team captain and outgoing Under-19 champion Laurelle Brown, who took gold in the same event in Mauritius last year, will lead the Zimbabwean contingent.

Brown will be looking to defend her title but has to brush off stiff competition from South African Jodie Berry, who claimed gold in the East London championships last month. The Zimbabwean ace finished in third place after pulling a muscle.

Coach Wayne Davidson is optimistic Brown will get an automatic qualification to the World Championships with an impressive performance in Morocco.

“Defending champion Laurelle Brown will resume her battle with South African Champs winner Jodie Berry and a host of French-based North Africans,” Davidson told the Daily News yesterday.

“It will be a gruelling race with all the athletes intent on a top three finish that earns automatic qualification to the World Championships that will be staged on the famous Hyde Park Olympic Course.”

Brown will provide cover for Zimbabwe's best Under-17 athletes Skye Davidson and Serena Rendell as they race together in the same category.  Davidson is a two-time African Under-15 champion and managed to win gold in Mauritius last year.

“She has an outside chance of World Champs qualification if she can improve her swim time and replicate the burst of running speed that she is now becoming famous for,” Davidson said of Skye.

In the boys’ division, former Under-15 African champion Drew Williams is battling to recover from a broken toe and faces a fitness test before his entry is confirmed, but Marcus Philp will ready to replace Williams.

Davidson added: “He’s (Philp) another Zimbabwean with an average swim and devastating run.”

“Philp will look to replicate Davidson's tactics and play his cards to bring the race down to a running finish. He will be hard pressed to medal in this very competitive group that has a strong field of Moroccan and Tunisian athletes and defending Under-19 champions Mauritius.”

Zimbabwe’s only gold medallist at the South African championships last month, Gabrielle De Chassart, carries Zimbabwe’s medal hopes together with Gideon Benade in the Under-15 boys’ division.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be hoping to improve on their performance in the pool before travelling to Morocco, an area they struggled with in South Africa as the team brought home six medals; one gold, silver and four bronze from South Africa.

TEAMS

Under-19 Girls: Laurelle Brown (captain), Skye Davidson, Serena Rendell, Helen Mitchell, Karishma Patel, Rebecca Duncan.
Under-19 Boys: Marcus Philp, Drew Williams, Clemens Anschutz.
Under 15 Girls: Gabby De Chassart, Tyla Storrer, Cameryn Davidson.
Under 15 Boys: Gideon Benade, Mitchell Kaye, Rupert Anschutz.

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