The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda in Nyanga
FOR the third year in a row, the elite men’s title at the Bonaqua Troutbeck Africa Triathlon Union Sprint Triathlon African Cup was won by a German national when Justus Nieschlag romped to victory yesterday.
It was actually a clean sweep for Germany with Nina Eim the winner of the women’s elite ahead of South African Amber Schlebusch and Carolyn Hayes of Ireland.
The 26-year-old Nieschlag came into the race as the favourite and led from the start until the finish to ensure that for the third year uninterrupted, the men’s elite title went to Germany. In second place was another German, Maximilian Schwetz while Constantine Doherty of Ireland was third.
Nieschlag felt that he had a wonderful race in which he enjoyed himself despite the challenging course.
“It was a great race for me and I really enjoyed it here, it was really hard not only because of the altitude,
I am not used to it, it’s also because the course was quite hard, uphill and downhill, we were not able to relax just a metre,’’ Nieschlag said.
On what was the key to winning, the German said him and Schwetz, who are mentored by the same coach made sure that they worked hard on their bicycles to open a huge gap so that they could afford to take it easy on the run.
“We tried to ride as hard as we can from the beginning to get a really big gap and maybe have an easy run but it wasn’t easy.”
Nieschlag joins Jonas Schomburg and Jonas Breinlinger who won the men’s elite in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Breinlinger, prevented by illness from defending his title at Troutbeck, did give some advice to Nieschlag to take it easy from the start because of the tough route.
“Last winner was Jonas (Breinlinger), he did talk to me and just said go easy from the beginning, its quite a hard race and maybe I could learn a little bit from him,’’ Nieschlag said.
Zimbabwean Gideon Benade, competing for the second time in the elite was the last man to cross the finish line for those who completed the race. South African Nicholas Quenet did not finish the race when he was withdrawn while his compatriot Matthew Greer did not even start.
Eim was delighted to have crossed the finish line first, describing the competition as being an immense race.
“It was a great race, I haven’t done such a hilly race before so I was really excited, normally I don’t like it that much but yes, the race went really well so I’m really happy with it. The toughest part was the heads up, absolutely the run,’’ Eim said.
Having not done well at last weekend’s Triathlon Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, Eim had to work really hard on her swim and it came off well when she hit the water at Troutbeck.
“In Cape Town my swim wasn’t that good and today the swim was much better. The race was so much more hilly, there wasn’t so many ladies so starters,’’ she said.
Germany, Ireland, Czech Republic, Morocco, Belgium, Mauritius, Luxembourg, Egypt, Namibia, Tunisia and South Africa and Zimbabwe were the countries which were represented in the various races which took place yesterday.
The event was attended by among others, Sports and Recreation director general Prince Mupazviriho, Schweppes Zimbabwe managing director Charles Msipa and Coca-Cola Zimbabwe senior brand manager Vee Chibanda. — @Mdawini_29