Fulton confident ahead of junior Troutbeck event Pamela Fulton

Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter

AS Zimbabwe braces for the 2024 Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup, national coach Pamela Fulton is excited to see some of the junior athletes competing at the event.

The annual event staged at the Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga, is due to take place on Saturday.

It runs concurrently with the Africa Junior Cup.

While the focus will be on Andie Kuipers competing in the elite women’s category in the Africa Cup, some juniors have entered the Africa Junior Cup.

Zimbabwe missed out on the elite level last year as they were not represented in both women and men categories.

In 2021 and 2022 they were represented by Greer Wynn in the women’s section.

The trio of Rohnan Nicholson, Callum Smith, and Stanely Chasakara will compete in the junior boys while Nicole Madya is up for competition in the girls’ category.

“Our juniors, when you are entering the Africa Cup event, it’s an Under-19 category, it’s not divided into Under-17 and Under-19. So all of our juniors, the junior boys, there are three of them who are Under-17.

“So they are actually bottom of the category and there are phenomenal athletes and they are actually really racing well at the moment and pretty close. So they are pushing each other in every single race we have been having at Mount Pleasant and they are shaving minutes off their time. “So I am excited to see how they perform at Troutbeck. There will be juniors who are older than them, who are 18 and even 19. But I strongly believe that our juniors are strong, the boys. “Unfortunately in the girls’ category, we have got only one athlete, Nicole Madya. From what I have seen on the World Triathlon site, I have seen that there are two girls from South Africa coming and one girl from Namibia.

“I am not sure if there will be any other countries coming to compete in the junior girls’ section. So who knows possibly a podium finish for her,” said Fulton.

Fulton, however, noted that the lack of numbers in the girls’ section locally has been a disadvantage for Madya.

“Unfortunately, being the only girl in that category in Zimbabwe, there is no one to push her. She comes and does her races at Mount Pleasant. Credit to her she has taken minutes off her time. But no one pushes her to the maximum limit to know how fast she can go.”

The national coach is also looking forward to young boys and girls competing in their respective categories. Coca-Cola is the title sponsor through their Bonaqua water brand and several sponsors have over the years come on board to support the event. Coca-Cola front-line marketing manager, Barry Otieno said it is an honour to be associated with the Troutbeck event.

“It comes as a great privilege and honour to be the title sponsor of the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon, a global event sanctioned by the International Union. Bonaqua being a water brand suits the event well and resonates magnificently with the natural surroundings that we experience in Troutbeck. “The Bonaqua brand has grown together with Triathlon Zimbabwe as the official title sponsor. This alone demonstrates our commitment and celebration to the development of sport in Zimbabwe” said Otieno. The organisers of the Troutbeck event, have over the years developed it to become a multi-sport festival. This year’s event is loaded with multi-sport activities that include corporate challenge, aquathlon, mountain biking, open water swimming, and trail run being staged for the first time.

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