Zimbabwe Youth Team gears for SA Champs

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Zimbabwe Youth Team gears for SA Champs 
Triathlon Zimbabwe held the event in partnership with Hellenic Primary, with the help of their members Paul Denslow and Wayne Davidson. 

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter

TRIATHLON Zimbabwe president Ross O’Donoghue is confident their athletes had a good platform to step up their build-up for forthcoming regional and continental competition after competing at the Troutbeck event recently. 

The Troutbeck event has become a multi-sport festival featuring several different competitions apart from the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup, which is the main event on the day. It runs concurrently with the Africa Junior Cup. The national association also staged their Zimbabwe National Championships during this event and it presented their youth athletes with a chance to assess their readiness for the South Africa Youth Championships scheduled to take place at Maselspoort on March 3. 

Zander Botha won the Boys 15-and-Under while Rachel O’Donoghue claimed the girl’s title in the same age group.

They are both part of the team travelling to South Africa next week for the Youth Championships. “I think it’s been a huge benefit to our athletes leading up into these bigger races that they are going to go into now. 

“So they are going to the South Africa Championships and when I say bigger races, especially for our youth they are going to race where there is going to be more competition. “There is a race in PE (Port Elizabeth) as well a couple of weeks later, and then there is the Africa Championships, and then our youth and juniors will go to Egypt as well. 

“I think this race has prepared them well for what’s to come in the next two months. I am excited to see what we can do. We have got some fantastic youth guys, Zander Botha did amazingly well.

“He is going to be a star in the future. Rachel did well. But these kids need exposure, they need to race more people outside this country. So we are excited about what’s going to come,” said O’Donoghue. The Triathlon Zimbabwe president believes having young athletes compete in the presence of elite athletes from different countries also boosts their confidence. 

“To have international athletes watch them it feels like they are on a bigger stage than when we are doing our local races. So, I think it’s been great for our youth athletes.” 

Botha will be out for a better outcome after coming fifth at last year’s event. 

“It’s (preparation) going very well. My coach is doing very well with me. We are getting a lot of training and very good quality and very good intensity. 

“I expect to get a podium and to get under the 40-minute mark. So I will be training very hard for that,” said Botha.