THERE’S a rise in the entries for this year’s Bonaqua Troutbeck Africa Triathlon Union Sprint Triathlon African Cup with 22 elite men and seven cream of the crop women already registered to take part in Saturday’s event.
Rick Fulton, Triathlon Zimbabwe president, attributed the rise in numbers for this year to having the event a week after the Triathlon World Cup that was held in Cape Town, South Africa last Saturday and Sunday.
Acceptance of entries closed on Monday and the triathletes were expected to arrive in Nyanga on Thursday for an event that will see Zimbabwe having one representative.
Despite being Zimbabwe’s only representative in the elite section at the Bonaqua Troutbeck Africa Triathlon Union Sprint Triathlon African Cup, Gideon Benade is ready to make an impression.
Benade (21) is based in Marondera and has expressed his desire to perform at his best notwithstanding the fact that his training was affected by sickness at the end of last year which saw him being sidelined for two months.
“I am aiming to finish having left it all on the course. At the end of last year I got really sick and went off for two months therefore I did not have the best training I needed for this race,’’ Benade said.
Benade made his senior debut last year and went on to finish 12th out of the 14 triathletes who finished the race.
Veteran Zimbabwean triathlete Rory Mackie finished last in 2018.
The youngster is working towards qualification for the 2024 Olympics.
The triathletes will swim over 750 metres, do three laps of 6,6 kilometres on bicycles and then run for 5km.
Last year, German Jonas Breinlinger won the men’s elite section ahead of Australian Nicholas Free and Namibian Jean-Paul Burger. Cindy Schwulst of South Africa won the women’s race, with her compatriot Jayme-Sue Vermaas second while Yan Yin Hilda Choi from Hong Kong finished third.
While this is the third time that Bonaqua are the title sponsors, this is the sixth year that Coca-Cola have been involved with the Troutbeck event.