Triathlon Zimbabwe’s developmental efforts are paying off with a number of the youth athletes winning medals at the 2021 Africa Championships in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt last weekend.
Zimbabwe had a 10-member team competing in the Under-23 Men, Junior Women, Youth Under-17 Boys, and Youth Boys Under-15 and Youth Girls Under-15.
They also took part in the mixed relay team event. But, it was in the individual events where Zimbabwe picked five medals — two gold, one silver and two bronze.
The medals came from Matipa Mawere, who won gold in the Youth Boys Under-15 while Joshua Jacobs picked bronze in the same event. It was the same story in the Youth Girls Under-15 as Zimbabwe picked two medals in this category. Anje Van As came first to claim gold and Emma Lidsba finished second to walk away with a silver medal.
Makanaka Mawere weighed in with another bronze, in the Junior Women, while Mikayla Colegrave and Andie Kuipers were seventh, and eighth, in the same category.
Coach Pamela Fulton had expressed confidence in the team and indicated this was about development since most of the athletes were making their debut. But, the young athletes went an extra mile and it was a positive development, not only for the upcoming triathletes, but also for the national association who have been looking at growing the sport, in the country. The team was made up of Makanaka, Matipa, Lidsba and Jacobs.
“We were able to enter a Zimbabwe team and a combined Africa team. Our athletes were definitely showing fatigue from yesterday’s (Saturday’s) efforts. “We had the youngest athletes competing, who have never raced in the relay event before.
“We were racing against athletes, who have just qualified for Tokyo 2020, so a fantastic experience for our athletes,” said Fulton.
There was also improvement from Matthew Denslow as he finished eighth in the Under-23 Men. He had a difficult time at the Africa Cup, held a week prior to the African Championships, going into the race while not feeling well.
But, on Saturday, he put up a good fight in a strong field that attracted participants from South Africa, Namibia, Tunisia and the hosts, among others. – The Herald