Record elite field at Troutbeck

HARARE - Triathlon Zimbabwe (TZ) recorded a milestone of achievement ahead of today's Troutbeck African Cup with a record number of elite male and female participants.

A total of 16 elite men and 12 elite women had confirmed their participation in this afternoon's main attraction races, the best the local organisers have managed to assemble in the history of the tournament.

Rick Fulton, the TZ president, was ecstatic. He said: "Best field to race ever at Troutbeck and all Africa." Countries represented include Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, Mauritius and South Africa.

Zimbabwe currently does not have an elite athlete but will be fully represented in the junior categories of the Bokomo Weet- Bix and Hyundai Motor Corporation sponsored African Cup.

Neighbouring South Africa are well set to reiterate their dominance of Troutbeck with world top-ranked athlete Richard Murray and reigning African champion Henri Schoeman tipped to steal the limelight this afternoon. Schoeman is well acquainted with the Troutbeck environment having won the title consecutively in 2012 and 2013.

"He has to cause an advantage (Schoeman) and will try and force the lead out of the swim, his strongest discipline," added Fulton.

But with Murray winning his first South African National title after four years of waiting coupled with Schoeman's recent busy international competition schedule, Fulton believes "Mr Troutbeck" is on a disadvantage getting into this race today.

"Henri (Schoeman) recently placed 26th in the Auckland World Triathlon series event in Auckland and so travel and recent 'race legs' may then come into play, however, he loves Troutbeck," he said.

The women elite race will see three 2012 Olympians battling it out for the gold medal. Kate Roberts, once ranked seventh on the world stage and 2012 Troutbeck winner and her South African counterpart Gillian Saunders, who is the current African champion, will have to team up against Fabianne St. Louis of Mauritius.

St. Louis is however,no stranger to Troutbeck having participated in the 2011 event.

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