Strong line-up for Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup

Rick Fulton

AT least 54 elite and junior athletes from 20 different countries are set to grace the 15th edition of the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup and Multisport Festival which take place in Nyanga on Saturday.

Zimbabwe will not have any representative in the elite class after the country’s top female athlete Andie Kuipers pulled out due to school commitments in the United States.

Kuipers, who is at Lenoir-Rhyne University in South Carolina, is missing the flagship triathlon competition for the second year running, but a strong line-up of male and female junior elite athletes will fly the country’s flag in Nyanga.

Event director Rick Fulton revealed that preparations for the milestone event are ahead of time with international athletes expected to arrive in the country today.

“Preparations are well advanced here in Nyanga and we are half a day ahead of schedule. The most important thing is that we will be ready for the start of the event in good time,” Fulton told NewsDay Sport.

“We are expecting the majority of our international visitors in Harare on Wednesday and we have two shuttles that will transport them to Nyanga on Thursday and by Thursday night everyone should be at Troutbeck.

“It’s a massive turnout for us because I believe we have 54 elite and junior elite athletes from about 20 countries. It’s the 15th edition of our biggest event and we are making a big deal out of it. We will see how we can make it special during the prize giving ceremony,” he added.

Athletes are travelling from countries such as Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Finland and as far afield as Mexico, Chile, Guam, Japan and Bermuda.

The 2023 edition also sees the return of two-time Troutbeck Elite Men’s gold medallist Ayan Beisenbayev from Kazakhstan who will be hoping for a hat-trick of victories at this tough event.

Two weeks ago, Triathlon Zimbabwe announced the inclusion of Simbisa Brands to their group of sponsors for the 2023 edition of the event alongside Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Cimas i-Go, CFAO Motor Group, EcoCash and Rooneys.

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