Ray Bande Senior Reporter
THE usually serene environs of the iconic Troutbeck in Nyanga will be a hive of activity when the 2020 edition of the annual Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU African Cup gets underway today (Friday).
A major sporting event with an international appeal, the Bonaqua Troutbeck African Triathlon Union Sprint Triathlon African Cup is one of the few annual events that have promoted sports tourism in Zimbabwe by virtue of attracting participants from far and wide across the globe.
Zimbabwe is fielding participants both in the male and female elite categories.
“Some exciting news to share – Zimbabwe will be represented in both the Elite Men and Elite Women’s event – Matthew Denslow, who made his elite debut last weekend at the ATU Maselspoort African Cup, will be making his ‘second debut’ on home ground – Laurelle Brown will be racing in the Elite Women’s event. We wish them both all the very best – home supporters will be there to cheer you,” read an update of the event on the Triathlon Zimbabwe website.
Triathlon is a multi-disciplinary sport that involves swimming, cycling and running, one after the other in that order, and as a continuous event.
After making a big impression on her return to competition last year when she picked up a silver medal at the African Games, Zimbabwe’s Brown is set to represent the country in this year’s Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup.
Brown will represent the country in the elite women’s event and at the time of the official launch of the annual event she was the only Zimbabwean who had confirmed her participation in the elite category for both men and women.
Having last competed in 2013, before she took a break to pursue her studies in the UK, Brown returned to competition last year.
She went on to win a silver medal at the African Games in Morocco.
As she prepares for the Troutbeck event, Brown told our sister paper The Herald during the launch of the event that: “Just coming off the back of the African Games, I think there is quite a lot of expectation on me to do quite well,’’ she said.
“But, I am just taking this year as it comes and hoping to get a little more competitive again. And, just starting to find my feet, seeing how I compare to athletes from the rest of the world and, obviously as mentioned, this race counts towards continental points.
“I am hoping to improve my ranking after this race. And, from there, just see what other races I can enter. The former junior national and African champion said the results from the African Games motivated her to take up more elite races.
“I have been putting a lot of work into this race in Troutbeck. I am trying to find the work life, training balance, which has been quite difficult,’’ she said.
Brown added: “But I have been putting in a lot of hours, probably doing three, four hours a day of training up until the event. We will see how it goes.”
The juniors have the ATU Junior Triathlon African Cup to look forward to, just like last year. The event ends on Sunday.