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Triathletes target Olympic qualification at Maselspoort

───   MORGAN PIEK 08:29 Fri, 01 Mar 2024

Triathletes target Olympic qualification at Maselspoort | News Article
Vicky van der Merwe - Morgan Piek

“It's a venue I've raced at many times over the years. I think I was 14 or 15 years old when I first raced there as a junior, so I know Maselspoort well.”

It’s all systems go for this weekend’s Africa Triathlon Cup that will take place on the outskirts of Bloemfontein.

Triathletes from across South Africa and the rest of the world have converged on the city and will test themselves in a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

It is the first event of the season for many of the competitors and for the elites there is more at stake as it is an Olympic year.

The triathlete from Stellenbosch, Vicky van der Merwe, told OFM Sport that she is ready to kick-start an important year.

“I’m really excited to get the racing season underway this weekend at Maselspoort,” said Van der Merwe.

“It's a venue I've raced at many times over the years. I think I was 14 or 15 years old when I first raced there as a junior, so I know Maselspoort well.

“It's always special to go back and I'm really excited for this weekend. I've trained really hard and I'm in good shape - probably the best form I've been in, so hopefully it comes together in the race.

“It's obviously a really important year for us with the Olympics and we're looking to qualify for that.

“I'm looking forward to seeing everyone out there and ready to just kick-off this year.”

Bridget Theunissen - Morgan Piek

Bridget Theunissen in her turn, who finished 6th last year, said she’s feeling better prepared and is also targeting Olympic qualification.

“Plans for the race this year – I will be returning to Maselspoort feeling more motivated and driven than ever. My training since October has gone well and some big improvements have been made, particularly in the running.

“There’s a lot on the line with this being part of the Olympic qualification criteria, but I’m just going to focus on my race and doing the best I can. I look forward to returning, and am excited to see what I can do.”

The Africa Triathlon Cup will take place on Sunday and the men’s elite race will start at 12:00. The women’s elites will be in action from 12:45. The junior races will get under way with the men at 10:30 and the women at 11:15.

Women's elite field – Tanja Stroschneider (Austria), Vicky van der Merwe (South Africa), Shanae Williams (South Africa), Bridget Theunissen (South Africa), Minori Ikeno (Japan), Himeka Sato (Japan), Marit van den Berg (Netherlands), Andie Kuipers (Zimbabwe), Henrika Parviainen (Finland), Jordan Tissink (South Africa), Anika Visser (South Africa).

Men's elite field – Jean Gael Laurent L`entete (Mauritius), Siefeldeen Ismail (Egypt), Luke Bate (Australia), Seifeddine Selmi (Tunisia), Leon Pauger (Austria), Dylan Nortjé (South Africa), Noah Künz (Austria), Dan Tomiuchi (Japan), Shaun Wolfaardt (South Africa), Joshua Steytler (South Africa), Matthew van Coller (South Africa), Gustave Philemon Dendo (Central African Republic), Guy Dede Newan (Central African Republic).

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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