14 May 2015

Zimbabwe Juniors Shine in Egypt

Zimbabwe’s Junior Triathlon team shone at the ATU African Triathlon Championships and Pan-Arab Championships in Egypt this weekend, all six members finishing in the top eight of their respective races. The team of three boys and three girls qualified in March with their times at the ITU triathlon held at Troutbeck.

Youth Olympian Drew Williams, of St John’s College, finished an impressive 1:03.49 to come fourth in a field of 25 athletes from 10 countries in the men’s junior race. The winner, from South Africa, finished in 1.02.16. Second place also went to a South African triathlete, with third being taken by a Mauritian. Gideon Benade of Peterhouse finished sixth in 1:05.06 and Hellenic Academy’s Alexander Colegrave seventh in 1:05.33.

Williams is waiting to see if his time and fourth place finish will be sufficient to qualify him for the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago, Illinois in September. Asked about his race in Egypt on Saturday, he told SSN: “The race was flat, fast and furious. It was an aggressive swim with a lot of jostling for place. The ride was hard work, trying to catch the six leaders. And then the run was tough and very hot with our chase pack all fighting for a slot to Chicago.”

Rebecca Duncan of Chisipite came fourth in a time of 1:07.51 in a field of 16 competitors from six countries. Chisipite classmate Karishma Patel was right behind her, finishing fifth in 1:09.25. Gabrielle de Chassart from Hellenic finished eighth in 1:15.37. The junior women’s race was won by a South African triathlete in 1:03.58 with a South African in second and an Egyptian in third.

Saturday’s spring course started with a 750m swim in the sea followed by a 19km bike ride on asphalt and finishing with a 5km road run through the coastal resort town of Sharm el Sheik.[Zimbabwe Junior Triathlon in Egypt]Zimbabwe Junior Triathlon in Egypt

SSN caught up with Coach Pamela Fulton in Egypt who was ecstatic with the team’s performance: “Our six athletes have done us proud. They have trained exceptionally hard leading up to this important event, and I am very happy with their performance although we did not medal. The caliber of competition was exceptionally high.”

The strength of Zimbabwe’s junior triathlon team reveals the true potential for development of the sport here in a country where both cross-country running and swimming are strong sports starting from the primary through to the secondary school level.

Jack Allard Leads Zimbabwe to Second Place Finish In Zambia

The Zimbabwe Junior Golf Team is returning home triumphant, after finishing second in the All Africa Junior Golf Challenge this past week. Team Zimbabwe amassed 929 points in the 72 hole competition in Lusaka which ran from May 5-8. Captain Jack Allard formerly of Falcon College came fourth overall with teammates David Amm finishing 8th, Kieren Vincent 11th and Bekithemba Ndlovu 13th. The winner of the tournament was South Africa’s Marco Steyn.

Although South Africa’s top place was assured from the first day of the tournament, the second place for Zimbabwe was no guarantee as they were a mere five shots ahead of third place Zambia after Day 3 of the competition. On that day, Allard shot level par with Amm closely behind him with +2. However, Vincent and Ndlovu had less favorable days, both finishing the course +9. The team pulled together on the last day of the competition to increase their margin from 5 to 7 points and secure second place.[The AAJGC 2015 Team – Bekithemba Ndlovu, David Amm, Brian Maphosa, Kieran Vincent, Simon Murungweni and Jack Allard]The AAJGC 2015 Team – Bekithemba Ndlovu, David Amm, Brian Maphosa, Kieran Vincent, Simon Murungweni and Jack Allard

Team Zimbabwe’s second place win assures them a place in the Toyota World Junior Golf Team Championship which will be held in Nagoya, Japan from June 16-19. In golf, the lowest point team total wins a competition, South Africa won the Challenge in Zambia by a wide margin with 874 points. Hosts Zambia came third with 936 and Kenya fourth with 962 in the ten team pan-African challenge.

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