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Madya out of Bonaqua Africa Cup

Zimbabwe elite women representative Andie Kuipers

TRIATHLON Zimbabwe (TZ) will not have representation in the junior women elite class following the withdrawal of Nicole Madya from the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup Troutbeck which takes place at the picturesque Nyanga Highlands in Manicaland province today.

But, in the meantime, the association is buoyed by the return of Andie Kuipers who will fly the country's flag in the elite women race after a four year absence.

Madya, the junior elite ace will be taking part at district trials for athletics, while Makanaka Mawere is away at university.

Triathlon Zimbabwe head coach, Pam Fulton had hoped to see one of her finest female athlete, Madya line up for the Junior Cup at Troutbeck today.

“Unfortunately at this stage it appears that Nicole will no longer be participating. I’m hoping she changes her plans though,” Fulton told NewsDay Sport.

However, the Junior Elite category will see four talented athletes representing Zimbabwe this morning. These are Rohnan Nicholson, Callum Smith, Stanley Chasakara and Mandlenkosi Mhtethwa.

“Both Rohnan and Callum competed against Nicholas Horne from South Africa, at Africa Championships last year. Nicholas won the category whilst Rohnan came third.

“Nathan competed last year at Troutbeck and came second in the junior category. Saturday's Junior Men’s race should be an exceptionally close and exciting race as both Rohnan and callum have been training extremely hard and improved throughout the season,” she said.

Fulton is relishing the junior women's race, predicting that it will go to the wire. Maja Brinkmann of Namibia finished third at last year's Commonwealth Games, while Troutbeck gold medalist, Kadence Ribbink came fourth.

“The ladies category also has a very strong field of international athletes with ladies from South Africa and Namibia.

Both Kadence Ribbink and Mia Van Der Veen from South Africa competed last year at Troutbeck, with Kadence winning the event. Anything can happen this year with this high calibre field.

“It is fantastic having these athletes returning once again to compete at our Troutbeck event. This is important for our athletes so they can test themselves against some of the best juniors in Africa, and push themselves to their limit,” added Fulton.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Elite Women representative, Kuipers is looking forward to bag points in today's race to boost her chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics. Kuipers took some time out of her varsity studies to push her Olympic dream.

“One of the things was staying, I would never have raced Troutbeck if I went back to the States just because of the travel and coming to such a high altitude after the travel I think would be quite deteriorating for my performance,” Kuipers told this publication.

“One of the things was coming up here and then I do a lot of strength training on the bike, a lot of hills as well as on the run. Then I also went up to Troutbeck just to get used to the course, it doesn't feel as hard as it used to feel, which I think is a good thing.

“I think the biggest thing is just being mentally prepared for that. It's going to be a tough day and you need to just be tougher than anybody else.

“My goal at Troutbeck, I think I would like to be in the top five, but before a race I never look at position because that's something out of my control. I just want to be able to perform to my ability and my current fitness. I just want to have a day that I know I gave everything,” she said.


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