LAURELLE BROWN AND MATTHEW DENSLOW will carry the nation’s hopes at the 2020 edition of the prestigious Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup this weekend at Troutbeck Inn Resort in Nyanga.
The decorated duo, who will be making their debut appearances in the tournament, will represent hosts in the elite women and men’s categories respectively.
Denslow, the youngest triathlete in the elite men’s category, will launch his career as a senior at the same venue where he won a gold medal in the Bonaqua ATU Junior African junior men’s race last year.
The 19 year-old goes into the race facing opposition from nine other contestants.
Russian Dmitry Polyanskiy is one of the seasoned triathletes expected to give Denlsow stiff competition.
Polyanskiy has secured five ITU World Championship Series podiums as well as a gold medal at the World Cup (Tiszaujvaros) (2016), silver medal at the European Championship (Lisbon) (2016), bronze at the ITU World Championship Series (2012) and a three time Olympian.
Most recently, the talented Polyanskiy had a great race at the 2017 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup, securing a well-deserved silver medal.
He is on position 91 on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) rankings.
Andrea Salvisberg from Switzerland is another seasoned campaigner expected to provide serious competition to his opponents as he is the highest ranked triathlete featuring at the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup.
He sits on position 66 on the ITU rankings.
Other nationals who will battle it out at Troutbeck Inn Resort on Saturday are from Brazil, Mauritius, Syria and South Africa, all with four triathletes.
This year, the defending champions, Germans Justus Nieschalag and Nina Eim, will not feature at the race.
Brown will face competition from Anastasia Abrosimova of Russia and Tunisia’s Ons Lajili.
Though Brown is the lowest ranked among the three, home advantage could help the 25 year-old clinch gold.
The race features one lap in the water (750m) followed by bike over three laps (6,6 km) with a hilly terrain of about 16 degrees gradient.
The last part of the race is two laps (2,5km) of run.
There is a US$750 prize money for the winners in both categories while second and third place winners get US$450 and US$300 respectively.