FLEDGLING triathletes Andie Kuipers and Matthew Denslow capped off a memorable campaign for Zimbabwe at the African Youth Games after claiming silver medals in their respective races in Algiers, Algeria, yesterday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The African Youth Games triathlon is held over a sprint distance, consisting of a 750m swim, a 18,5km cycle and a 5km run.
Denslow put up a solid performance in the boys’ race finishing second behind the eventual gold medalist Ismail Siefeldin from Egypt and ahead of Gerard Remy from Mauritius, who claimed the bronze medal.
The young Zimbabwean exited the first transition in fifth position and way behind the leading pack, but recovered during the bike and run legs to come home one minute, 17 seconds behind Siefeldin.
In the girls’ race, Kuipers also rallied back after a slow swim leg to finish second behind Tunisia’s Syrine Fattoum, who claimed the gold medal, while Morocco’s Kanoun Karima claimed the bronze medal.
Triathlon Zimbabwe yesterday congratulated Kuipers and Denslow for their success at the continental games.
“We are thrilled to announce that athletes Andie Kuipers and Matthew Denslow both had fantastic races today in the finals of the triathlon events at the African Youth Games and both of them placed second in their respective races and are returning home tomorrow with silver medals,” Triathlon Zimbabwe secretary-general Carol Pakenham said in a statement.
“Congratulations to these great young people who gave it their everything today — very proud of them and wish them safe travels home,” she said.
The duo’s silver medals brought Zimbabwe’s medal haul to eight at the African Youth Games ahead of yesterday’s closing ceremony.
Zimbabwe had a team of 37 athletes competing in seven disciplines namely; athletics, archery, equestrian, hockey (boys and girls), judo, rowing and triathlon.
Rower Kenneth Raymor scooped gold in the junior men’s single sculls as well as a slot for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to be held in Argentina in October, while Loryn Bass picked up a silver medal after finishing second in the junior women’s single sculls also booking a slot for the YOG.
The pair of Savannah Henricks and Taurai Madziva were third in the junior women’s 2 000m pairs event to claim bronze.
The girls’ hockey team also claimed a bronze medal to qualify for the YOG while the equestrian team finished third to clinch another bronze medal for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s other medal came from Brian Ndlovu, who scooped a silver medal in the high jump competition.