Richard Zimunya, Sports Reporter
AT least 31 elite triathletes will participate at this year’s Bonaqua African Triathlon Cup set for Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga on September 25.
This was revealed by Triathlon Zimbabwe director Rick Fulton at the launch of the annual event – which entering its 14th edition – in Harare yesterday.
The athletes are drawn from nine countries.
“Triathlon is multi-sport that manages swim, bike and run, so we have different elements of multi-sport taking place for everybody at all ages provided they are capable so that they can experience the tropic event.
“On the international front we are happy to announce that we have a total of 31 elite athletes participating representing nine countries namely Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Tahiti and Niger.
“So this event is a combination of senior elites and junior elites in terms of participation,” he said.
The Triathlon event was scheduled for February but was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Fulton added that they will run the event in line with Covid 19 protocols.
“We were scheduled to hold this event in February but we moved it because of Covid-19 but I am delighted to announce that we are progressing now.
“Obviously we are working under Covid 19 guidelines mandated by World Triathlon and our government.”
He highlighted that they are advantaged to have the association’s technical officials who are experienced to work with Covid 19 protocols at events.
“We as an association has the privilege of having technical officials who have worked in international events under Covid 19 protocols.
“We had technical officials in Egypt for the African Championships, we had some in Tunisia for the Africa Cup as well as in Tokyo for the Olympics and Paralympics, so we are fortunate to have the experience within us,” said Fulton.
The five sponsors that were present at the launch expressed happiness to be part of the event.
“As Coca Cola Zimbabwe we are pleased to be part of the coming Triathlon event with our brand Bonaqua as the sponsor,” said Faith Nehanda, the Coca-Cola Zimbabwe Frontline Marketing Portfolio Activation Manager.
Cimas’ Bheki Ntini said:
“As a medical aid company we are there to make sure people are healthy, so this event gives us an opportunity to do that.
“We are quite honoured to be part of this event because it portrays our brand in a good image.”
Fadzai Chariga of Bon Marche said:
“As Bon Marche we are proud to be sponsors since 2017, we want to acknowledge the organizers for the opportunity because we are happy to be part of the event.”
“As Toyota Zimbabwe we support this event for mobility primarily, as you know Toyota was part of the main sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games the message that Toyota wanted the world to hear was importance of mobility.
“So for us there is no better sport to show mobility for us than Triathlon Zimbabwe,” said Patience Ushewokunze of Toyota Zimbabwe.
Troutbeck Resort’s Thammari Rhappor said: “For the past 14 years we have been hosting the Triathlon event, the reason why we have worked with this for so long is exposure it gives us.”