Zim junior triathletes impress

NYANGA - Zimbabwe junior triathletes provided a bright spark in a campaign where the country’s hopes of producing an upset in the elite class of the Schweppes Water Troutbeck ATU African Cup were in vain.

South Africa dominated the podium finishes for both men and women elite classes with Wian Sullwald finishing first whilst 373rd ITU points ranked Jodie Berry was the first woman home.

Both athletes were in a class of their own over the 1500metres swim, 40kilometres cycle and 10km run.

The only two Zimbabwe elite triathletes were in the women category but they found the going tough against their more illustrious opponents.

It was no surprise therefore that Linda Rousseau and Sarah Wild were second from last and last respectively.

Although a lot of praise should be given to Zimbabwean ladies, who entered the race on the eleventh hour to save face for Zimbabwe who had no representation.

The sport has suffered a massive exodus of athletes in the past years, some quitting to pursue school whilst others have turned their backs on the sport due to high costs of travelling and purchasing bikes.

A triathlete bike costs in the region of $5 000 to $15 000 which is quite an astronomical amount for parents who are struggling to make ends meet in the face of a shrinking economy.

Meanwhile, it was a different story for the Zimbabwe Triathlon National Championships where the country’s junior athletes showed a lot of potential ahead of the African Championships set for Egypt in July.

Gabrielle Dumont De Chassart was the toast of the junior women sprint category where she finished first in one hour eighteen minutes and sixteen seconds.

She was followed by South Africa’s Elne Owen who finished some 12 minutes behind.

Martin Tyler won the boys' 12-13 years supersprint in 42 minutes and 56 seconds, whilst Sasha Gemmill won the girls 12-13 years supersprint in 43 minutes and 48 seconds.

Italy’s Giacomo Guerra won the boys’ 14-15 years supersprint in 36 minutes and 26 seconds, whilst South Africa’s Hannah Newman won the girls’s 14-15 years supersprint in 42 minutes and 51 seconds.

Alex Colegrave was the toast of the junior men 16-17 years supersprint fiinishing in 1 hour 11 minutes and nine seconds.

Drew Williams was the first teenager home in the junior men 18-19 years sprint finishing in one hour ten minutes and thirst four minutes.

Karisham Patel was the winner in the junior women 18-9 years sprint in a time of one hour, twenty three minutes and two seconds.

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