Fulton praises U15 triathletes

27 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
Fulton praises U15 triathletes Pamela Fulton

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter

NATIONAL coach Pamela Fulton says the outstanding show by the Youth Under-15 girls at the Africa Triathlon Championships where they picked three medals is encouraging.

The continental event was held in Agadir, Morocco, on Saturday and Sunday.

Zimbabwe had 11 athletes at the event competing in the Under-23 Women, Junior Men and Women and the Youth Under-15 boys and girls.

It was the Youth Under-15 girls who excelled with the trio of Anje Van As, Nicole Madya and Tayleigh Taylor winning gold, silver and bronze as the Zimbabweans dominated the category.

“The team raced well with most athletes happy with their performance.

“The Youth race was very exciting to watch as all three categories raced together — Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17.

“Anje, being Under-15, led the whole race from the beginning, right up until the last kilometre of the run when an Under-17 girl passed her. For our ladies to win gold, silver and bronze is exceptional and very exciting for the ladies’ future,” Fulton said.

Zimbabwe also competed in the mixed relay event with the team made up of Matipa Mawere, Van As, George Ascott and Andie Kuipers. They finished on position nine.

“We woke up to light showers which made the bike course exceptionally dangerous . . . It was evident that our athletes were very tired from Saturday’s race, but our spirits were high.

“The rain picked up way through the race and the roads became treacherous and Anje fell on the bike leg but got back up and finished and passed the baton to George, with Andie taking the last leg.

“Our young team finished ninth overall against experienced teams, some consisting of Olympians,” said Fulton.

Despite the mixed fortunes, Fulton believes it was a good experience for the youths and juniors. And for Kuipers, who competed in the Under-23 women, it was a platform to measure her level of competition against some of the best.

She is hoping to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done for the dream to become a reality.

“Our athletes have thoroughly enjoyed their time in Morocco, meeting athletes from other federations and rubbing shoulders with elite athletes.

“Andie is very pleased with her race. It’s good to see where she is compared to the rest of Africa in her first ever standard distance race and also being the youngest in the field.

“The bike and run were both four laps each. She felt strong for the first two laps but said she battled a bit on the last two laps, despite looking really strong,” said Fulton.

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