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Kuipers not giving up on Olympics dream

The United States of America-based athlete was not particularly pleased with her swim, but covered up for her struggles with a decent bike show leading to the run.

ZIMBABWE triathlete Andie Kuipers was happy to negotiate the dreaded Troutbeck course and keep her Paris Olympics qualification hopes alive with a fifth place finish in the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup Troutbeck Elite Women category in Nyanga yesterday.

The United States of America-based athlete was not particularly pleased with her swim, but covered up for her struggles with a decent bike show leading to the run.

And Troutbeck being her first race of the year, she was delighted to have finished the race giving her wings to fly as she heads into five more races, including the Africa Games as she pushes hard for a place in Paris.

"I needed to get early points for the Olympics, hope I did. hence this race was very important for me coming up against a host of talented girls," Kuipers said after the race.

"Obviously I had to shrug off some rust having completed here at Troutbeck four years ago and not having done it any better. I am satisfied with how I did, it may not be the position that I looked forward to, so happy on the overall with my performance.

"It was not easy, no matter what position I came out, I just told myself that I needed to push harder till the end."

Troutbeck debutant, Elizabeth Carr, bagged a gold medal in the Elite Women race. Marit Van Der Berg from Netherlands took silver while Antonela Manac from Romania and Ikeno Minori from Japan finished in third and fourth place respectively.

Carr conceded the Troutbeck course is one of the toughest around the world.

"This is my first race of the season so it's really just about seeing where I was after I got a block of winter training, so I think everyone was kind of the same. We were all seeing how we were after the winter, but I was happy with the race. It was a hard race and now I will be able to go back home and get back into training and prepare for my next competition," said Carr.

"It was my first time in Zimbabwe, I was in Morocco and Tunisia in November last year...I love it here, the people are so friendly and the events are well run, conditions not like Ireland, way way better, the swim was very nice and calm that's always a positive. The hills were very hard so I think everyone it's gonna test you no matter what kind of athletes you were with the hills. I have been more used to a flatter course and I think every race will be a little easier after this one."

In the Junior Men Africa Cup, Rohnan Nicholson was the first Zimbabwean athlete home in position six, followed by Callum Smith, Stanley Chasakara and Mandlenkosi Mthethwa in their respective seventh to ninth places.

South Africa's Nicholas Horne and Nathan Foster took gold and silver medals respectively while Fouree Steyn from Namibia claimed bronze medal.


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