Ray Bande IN NYANGA
THE 2020 edition of the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup kicked off this morning at Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga amid expectations high that Zimbabwe’s elite triathletes Matthew Denslow and Laurelle Brown will wave the country’s flag high.
Denslow will be making a return to Troutbeck for the first time since winning a gold medal in the junior men’s race of the inaugural Bonaqua ATU Junior African Cup which ran concurrently with the 2019 Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup last year.
The Troutbeck meet will be 20 year-old Denslow’s only second race as an elite triathlete after his debut at the 2020 Maselspoort ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup in Bloemfontein, South Africa, early this month, finishing 22nd out of 27 competitors.
The young Zimbabwean, who is ranked fourth on the International Triathlon Union (ITU)’s junior continental rankings, is one of the 10 triathletes who are set to battle it out for top honours in the elite men’s race.
Neighbours South Africa have the highest number of participants, with the quartet of Cameron MacNair, Jamie Riddle, Matthew Gree and Ben De La Porte all aiming to maintain their countrys dominance of the race.
The other participants in the men’s elite race are Timothee Hugnin from Mauritius, Russian Dmitry Polyanskiy, Danilo Pimentel from Brazil, Syria’s Mohamad Alsabbagh and Switzerland’s Andrea Salvisberg.
Brown is the other Zimbabwean representative in this years edition of the event. Brown will partake in the women’s elite race.
Brown last competed in 2013, before she took a break to pursue her studies in the UK.
She returned to competition last year and went on to win a silver medal at the African Games in Morocco.
Apart from the men and women’s elite races, a number of activities are lined up for this year’s Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup that include the ATU Junior Triathlon African Cup, the Zimbabwe National Triathlon championships, Off-Road triathlon, Bonaqua Corporate Team Challenge Super-sprint distance, Troutbeck Trikidz, for six to eight-year-olds, and Aquathlon (run-swim-run), among other competitions.