The Sunday Mail
ALL is set for a unique Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup – Troutbeck, with new kids on the block Zambia, Senegal, Morocco and Kenya featuring in this year’s edition.
The event, which will adhere to Covid-19 restrictions, will take place on September 25, in Nyanga.
The 14th edition of the Triathlon Cup will feature more countries this year, with athletes competing in the elite Under-23 African Triathlon Sprint Cup, African Triathlon Junior Cup, Off-road Triathlon Formats, Adult Age-Group, Youth-Mini Triathlon Formats and the Youth Super Sprint-Triathlon.
Team events for all Triathlon and off-road Triathlons, Cimas I-go Corporate Team Challenge Finale, Open Water swim series and Quathlon for schools, teams and individuals have been lined up.
The ATU Junior Triathlon African Cup will take place at the same venue, for the third time this year, with junior elite athletes from Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa set to compete.
Speaking at the 2021 Bonaqua African Triathlon Cup launch in Harare today, Bonaqua Troutbeck event organiser Rick Fulton said the event will create a competitive platform for upcoming athletes to gain experience.
“We are happy with such a development in African athletics because for the past about five years we have been working towards developing this to widen the African base,” he said.
“We saw a lot of African juniors competing recently in Egypt and there were more countries this time than we ever had before so it is clear that the development process is now bearing fruits.
The Bonaqua African Triathlon Cup – Troutbeck, is endorsed by the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
It is contributing positively towards the development of sports and tourism in Zimbabwe by attracting regional, continental and global athletes.
Fulton said the experience of competing at the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup Troutbeck will improve athletes’ performances and as well fly the tournament flag high for others to come through the system.
Zambia, like the host nation, are expected to bring in new junior athletes who will become part of the development process going forward.
“Countries like Senegal and Morocco are well established in terms of the Triathlon and they are producing more which means we have created a highly competitive ground which stands to benefit everyone.
“There is going to be a lot of fresh blood in the juniors, South Africa are usually the top but we have our own youngsters who will be out to make sure they make their impact felt.
“Unfortunately, Makyla, Matt and other prominent faces will not be available, they are in school so because we have to shift dates due to Covid, there is no choice, a new crop will be coming through and it will be a learning curve for them,” said Fulton.
This edition also marks the fifth anniversary for Bonaqua Still Water as the official title sponsor, although Coca-Cola has previously supported the event under Schweppes Water.
Other partners to support the tournament include Bon Marche, Cimas, Rooney’s and Toyota Zimbabwe.
“As the Coca-Cola system which includes our bottling partner Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, we are delighted to be able to support local sports development through sponsorships like the Triathlon during these challenging times.
“The Bonaqua African Triathlon Cup Troutbeck is growing with each year, and attracting global athletes and it is a pleasure for us to be associated with such,” said Faith Nehanda, Coca-Cola Zimbabwe frontline marketing portfolio activation manager.
“This year marks the 14th edition of the Bonaqua African Triathlon Cup Troutbeck. As we celebrate this milestone, we appreciate the professionalism that has been exhibited by the Zimbabwe Triathlon Association (ZTA) which has resulted in the successful hosting of this tournament every year,” added Ropafadzo Gwanetsa, Schweppes Zimbabwe Ltd corporate affairs manager.
The Bonaqua African Triathlon Cup affords World Ranking points for elite athletes within the ITU ranking system.
This means that the points scored by elite athletes will ultimately become Olympic Ranking Qualification points for Paris 2024.
Next year, the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup Troutbeck is expected to switch back to the month of February.