Zim youth team gears for SA Champs

23 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Zim youth team gears for SA Champs Triathlon Zimbabwe president Ross O’Donoghue says the recent Troutbeck event gave local athletes a chance to prepare for forthcoming competitions.


TRIATHLON Zimbabwe president Ross O’Donoghue is confident their athletes had a good platform to step up their build-up for forthcoming regional and continental competition after competing at the Troutbeck event recently.

Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter

The Troutbeck event has become a multi-sport festival featuring several different competitions apart from the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup, which is the main event on the day. It runs concurrently with the Africa Junior Cup.

The national association also stage their Zimbabwe National Championships during this event and it presented their youth athletes with a chance to assess their readiness for the South Africa Youth Championships scheduled to take place at Maselspoort on March 3.

Zander Botha won the Boys 15-and-Under while Rachel O’Donoghue claimed the girls title in the same age-group.

They are both part of the team travelling to South Africa next week for the Youth Championships.

“I think it’s been a huge benefit to our athletes leading up into these bigger races that they are going to go into now.

“So they are going to the South Africa Championships and when I say bigger races, especially for our youth they are going to race where there is going to be more competition.

“There is a race in PE (Port Elizabeth) as well a couple of weeks later, and then there is obviously the Africa Championships and then our youth and juniors will go to Egypt as well.

“I think this race has really prepared them well for what’s to come in the next two months. I am excited to see what we can do. We have got some fantastic youth guys, Zander Botha did amazingly well.

“He is going to be a star in the future. Rachel did really well. But these kids need exposure, they need to race more people outside this country. So we are excited about what’s going to come,” said O’Donoghue.

The Triathlon Zimbabwe president believes having the young athletes compete in the presence of elite athletes from different countries also boost their confidence.

“To have international athletes watch them it feels like they are on a bigger stage than when we are doing our local races. So, I think it’s been great for our youth athletes.”

Botha will be out for a better outcome after coming fifth at last year’s event.

“It’s (preparation) going very good. My coach is doing very well with me. We are getting a lot of training and very good quality and very good intensity.

“My expectation is to get a podium and to get under the 40 minutes mark. So I will be training very hard for that,” said Botha.

Olivia Beamish, who is also part of the team and came second behind Rachel O’Donoghue at the national competition is excited to be part of the country’s representatives in South Africa.

“I am actually really happy I made the team. I mean I did make the team last year but I think this year I know what the course is like and I know what to prepare for,” said Beamish.

Rachel O’Donoghue won gold last year in 13-and-Under age group and is looking forward to a competitive event.

“To be honest it isn’t that much of a surprise to me. Last year I was very happy about it. But this year it was just another race.

“I think there is a little bit more competition for me. But generally the same.” The team will be accompanied by national coach Pamela Fulton and Laura O’Donoghue, who is the tour manager.


Under-13 Boys

Daniel Nicholson, Sebastian Goddard, John Goddard, Seth Cameron.

Under-15 Boys

Zander Botha, Matthew Hildebrand, Xander Stevenson, Ta’anashe Makosa, Ethan Donza.

Under-15 Girls

Rachel O’Donoghue, Olivia Beamish, Bianca Van de Linde.

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