German sportsman wins Zimbabwean Triathlon

01.03.2018 - Article

German triathlete Jonas Breinlinger was first to cross the finish line beating 14 others to win the elite men’s top prize. The 2018 edition of the Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup was held in the eastern part of Zimbabwe on February 17.

The champion

The win in Zimbabwe was Breinliger’s biggest feat in recent years.
The win in Zimbabwe was Breinliger’s biggest feat in recent years.© Jekesai Njikizana

“It’s my first time here but I think I like this course. I worked very hard on the bike and swim to get a good place in the finish because my run isn’t always that good,” Jonas Breinlinger told journalists. The 23-year-old German who was participating for the first time at the annual African triathlon event attributed his win to the extra effort he put on the swim and bicycle to make up for his shortcoming in running.

Australian Nicholas Free came second and Namibia’s Jean-Paul Burger came third in a race held in wet conditions due to incessant rain. The race comprised a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre cycle leg and five-kilometre run.

In August last year, the German triathlete came third in the German Sprint Triathlon National Championships and the following month he was in the 16th position in the 2017 Funchal ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup. He was number 20 in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam last September.

Women´s elite race

In the women’s elite race, South Africa’s Cindy Schwulst won the race after failing to make it first across the finish line in the previous three editions of the competition. Shwulst came last in the swim but recovered in the 20-kilometre cycle and five-kilometre sprint to become first to cross the line.

The Triathlon African Cup

Zimbabwe’s Sport and Recreation Minister Kazembe Kazembe said the event had several benefits for the country. “The competition does not only benefit athletes but it also has spin-offs which cascade to the tourism sector,” Kazembe said addressing athletes and officials at the race event.

Sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union is also part of the two-year cycle qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan. The event drew elite triathletes from Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Germany, Namibia and the host Zimbabwe has been a regular feature on Zimbabwe’s sports calendar over the past 11 years.

© GIC Africa

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