SOUTH African sisters Kira and Kayla Ribbink shone in the elite junior women category glossing all the glamour off Zimbabwe elite women debutant Laurelle Brown here yesterday.
A 2012 Zimbabwe and Africa Junior Women champion Brown and Matthew Denslow were making their elite women and elite men debuts.
Brown finished second in the three-elite women line up in 01:18:28 behind gold medallist Anastasia Abrosimova of Russia who clocked a time of 01:12:39.
“It was a very good race, it was very nice to race with the juniors, they definitely gave us a bit of a run,” Brown said after the race.
Denslow was equally excited saying: “Look it was hard, I was expecting it to be hard but I’m happy- can only learn I’m still young and this is only the beginning.
“There’s a huge difference (from juniors to elite) the guy who won it I think he finished 14th at the world championships professional men and having him race in Zim is such a privilege. I’m being exposed to some of the best athletes in the world this is where we start, I cannot wait to see where I will be in a few years’ time so I’m excited.”
The elite women raced together with the junior elite women and first out of the 750m open water swim was Abrosimova while the two South African Ribbink sisters followed hard on her heels heading into the bike transition.
At the end of the race it was the younger sister Kira (16) getting the better of her elder sister Kayla (17) crossing the line first in 01:14:18 to win the gold medal ahead of her sibling who was just two minutes behind her in 01:16:34 to claim silver medal.
Another South African junior women elite Nadya Stolarczyk just managed to fend off stiff challenge from Zimbabwe ace Andie Kuipers to hold on for a podium finish relegating Kuipers to a home crowd heart-breaking fourth place finish.
It was then an all-Zimbabwe affair with the other three participants Mikayla Colegrave, Erin Elliot and Makanaka Mawere coming in positions five, six and seven respectively while Egypt’s Haidy Taymour and Kayleigh Gee of South Africa completed the Junior elite women placings.
In the elite men category Zimbabwe’s Denslow finished in position eight in 01:15:47 beating South Africa’s Matthew Greer to number nine while Cameron MacNair also of South Africa did not finish the race.