Coventry hails ‘inspirational triathletes’

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Rest Mutore recently in Nyanga

SPORTS Minister Kirsty Coventry has described triathletes who participated at the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup 2020 edition as an inspiration to the next generation.

The event, which was held at Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga on Saturday, saw participants coming from different countries around the world.

Swiss Andrea Salvisberg and Russian Anastasia Abrosimova won the elite men and women categories respectively.

Minister Coventry presented awards to the winners wishing them well in their next races for the remainder of the season.

“Thank you everybody who has made it to this event. Thank you for coming to Zimbabwe, it’s very special to have you in Zimbabwe, special for a few different reasons, but the main one is that our younger athletes can watch you and can be inspired by you.

“It’s about inspiring those generations that come behind you. Thank you very much for believing in this event, for wanting to be a part of this event, good luck with the rest of your season,” said Minister Coventry.

She urged junior athletes to take some few notes as they develop their career.

“For all of our junior athletes, I hope that you have enjoyed yourselves and watched these athletes and you have taken something from them and hope you are inspired to keep going and keep moving forward,” she said.

Salvisberg put up a good show, crossing the finish line in an hour and one second followed by Dmitry Polyansky of Russia who arrived about 35 seconds later.

South Africa’s Jammie Riddle, who came third, crossed the finish line in one hour, one minute and 11 seconds.

Minister Coventry crowning Andrea Salvisberg

For Salvisberg, it was a tough course which saw triathletes at each other’s toe in all the three categories – swim, bike and run.

“We had a fast swim, fast bike and fast run, (and) in the end I managed to be the strongest out there so I am really happy.

“I have never raced on anything as hard as today (Saturday), it was one of the toughest races I did,’’ he said.

Matthew Denslow, who was competing at Troutbeck for the first time as an elite, finished eighth out of the nine after South African Cameron MacNair failed to finish the race – failing to continue at swim.

Denslow,18, went into the race after clinching top prize last year in the junior elite category.

He was cautious going into contest targeting top five and acknowledged that it was tough after the race.

“It was hard; I was expecting it to be hard but I am happy. I can only learn, I am young and this is only the beginning,’’ said Denslow.

Laurelle Brown represented Zimbabwe in the elite and managed to win silver – something she described as a bonus.

She trailed eventual winner Abrosimova while Tunisian Ons Lajili came third.

“The juniors gave us a little bit of a run, I didn’t expect the silver so to get it was an extra bonus but it’s nice just to see how the rest of the competition was like, the Russian lady was flying, she was miles ahead of everyone, that’s the level we all aim to be.

“There is female races left for the season, South African championships and African champions, I haven’t decided if I am to race yet but definitely happy with the podium (finish). I have been struggling with the shoulder in the last three months,’’ said Brown.

The competition saw triathletes swimming 750m, cycled three laps of 6,6km and ran two laps 2,5km.

The winners in the men and women’s elite got US$750 each with silver medalists getting US$450 while those who came third got US$300 each.