March 26, 2024

Quartet to represent Zim at Africa Triathlon Champs

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Ellina Mhlanga

FOLLOWING the conclusion of the 2023-2024 triathlon season at the weekend, Triathlon Zimbabwe is shifting its focus to the forthcoming Africa Triathlon Championships due to take place next month in Hurghada, Egypt.

Four athletes — Andie Kuipers, Rohnan Nicholson, Callum Smith, and Zander Botha — made the cut for the championships set to run from April 19 to 21.

National coach Pamela Fulton confirmed the quartet is expected to represent the nation in Egypt

“Four athletes have qualified to compete at Africa Championships Hurghada Egypt in April. At this stage, it appears that four athletes will travel, including Andie Kuipers.

“In the meantime, Andie has travelled to train in Switzerland in preparation for the championships.

“Our team will depart in three weeks to meet Andie in Hurghada.

“I will stay on in Hurghada to facilitate a junior development camp on behalf of World Triathlon,” said Fulton.

 

Rachel O’Donoghue cut the championships but will not be travelling.

Kuipers, Smith, and Nicholson were part of Team Zimbabwe at the African Games in Ghana.

As they prepare for their next assignment, they will be out to build on the experience and exposure from the continental multi-sport event.

Fulton, who is also Triathlon Zimbabwe vice-president said some of the major highlights for the season include being one of the 10 sport codes selected to be part of Team Zimbabwe for the 13th edition of the African Games.

 

They have also had some of the upcoming athletes such as Mandlenkosi Mthethwa and Duwan Both attending development camps.

“It’s been a busy season and it’s hard to believe it’s already complete.

“Triathlon was very proud to be selected by SRC (Sport and Recreation Commission) and Ministry to represent Zimbabwe at the 13th Africa Games (in) Accra. Our young team consisted of Andie Kuipers, Lorna Doorman, Callum Smith, and Rohnan Nicholson.

 

“Each athlete raced incredibly well in the hot and humid conditions. Andie narrowly missed a medal, coming in fourth place.

“This season some of our athletes have been fortunate enough to attend Africa Cup events connected to camps organised by World Triathlon.

“I travelled with Mandla Mthethwa to Kenya as I was facilitating a camp connected to a Development race. Andie also participated and won the lady’s race,” said Fulton.

The seasoned coach also facilitated a junior development camp in Mauritius earlier in the season, last year. For the camp in Mauritius, Fulton travelled with Botha, who participated in the camp and competed in two races.

Kuipers also competed in Mauritius and won a silver medal at the Africa Triathlon Sprint Championships in Blue Bay.

The limelight will be on her being the most experienced in the team.

Kuipers believes training with some of the best athletes as she prepares for the Africa Triathlon Championships will go a long way in elevating her performance.

“I am already in Switzerland on a training camp to Switzerland for a month and then I will be heading to the African Championships in April.

“And I am preparing for this race by going on a camp in Switzerland to be with my coach and athletes who are much better than me because I need to surround myself with people who are better than me so that I can elevate my performance,” said Kuipers.

She will be hoping for a better outcome after coming fourth at the just-ended African Games in Accra, Ghana, and also pick some points as she seeks qualification for the Olympic Games.

 

 

 

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