ZIMBABWE elite representatives Laurelle Brown and Mathew Denslow will make their debut at the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup this morning.
Brown, a 2012 African Junior Women champion, returns to Troutbeck for the first time in as many years having been away studying in the United Kingdom.
Brown is relishing the challenge that comes with racing against some of the top athletes in the world as she fulfils her transition from juniors to the elite level.
“I think coming into the race tomorrow (today) on the back of an African Games participation last year, I haven’t raced any international athletes outside Africa so it will be just interesting to see how I fare,” Brown told reporters.
“It’s been a very long time and I’m just excited to be racing. I will just see how it will go…I’m glad with the size of the elite field but we will be starting with the junior ladies as well so I’m hoping it will be a good race.”
Only three ladies registered for the elite race guaranteeing all the participants a podium finish.
The other two races in the category are Anastasia Abrosimova from Russia and Tunisia’s Ons Lajili.
“It’s my first time here in Zimbabwe. I hope that I will be able to do my best in this competition,” Lajili said.
In the men’s elite category, Denslow will sweat it out with nine other athletes on his debut at Troutbeck.
South Africa has the largest entourage with four athletes namely Ben De La Porte, Matthew Greer, Jamie Riddle and Cameron MacNair.
The other athletes are Andrea Salvisberg from Switzerland, Dmitry Polyanskiy (Russia), Mohamad Alsabbagh (Syria), Danilo Pimentel (Brazil) and Timothee Hugnin from Mauritius.
“It’s still quite early in the season but I’ve been preparing as much as I can in training in South Africa and I’m looking forward to it,” Denslow said.
“Competing in the elite is definitely a new ball game for sure but I love it and I’m enjoying it. The first race I did in Bloemfontein was great fun. I raced most of the guys here and it was great fun and I’m looking forward to this race.”