Benade for elite Bonaqua ATU Cup
31 January 2018
ZIMBABWE’S five-year hiatus of no elite men representation will come to an end at the 2018 Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup as emerging sensation Gideon Benade will hit the water and road in Nyanga on February 17.
Triathlon Zimbabwe have successfully hosted the African Cup over the years but agonisingly there hasn’t been elite representation in the men’s category since the retirement of two-time Olympian Chris Felgate in 2012 –an event he took silver medal.
The only other time Zimbabwe had representation at elite level was in the women’s section in 2015 through Sarah Wild and Linda Rousseau.
But the 2018 edition, sponsored by Bonaqua once again, will be totally different as all Zimbabwean eyes will be on Benade who has graduated from the juniors and will make his elite men’s debut.
Having raced the tricky Troutbeck course for past eight seasons, Benade will switch into a learning mode at the same time looking to use the experience gained over these years to progress through.
“The reason why I wanted to do this race is because my first triathlon race I ever did was at Troutbeck and I really enjoyed it.
“I have been doing this race for eight years. The reason why I am racing elite and for the next year and years to come is just to let everyone know that it’s not as grueling as everyone thinks…”
He added: “my plan for this race is just to learn, learn how to race without discretion. It’s a goal for this I plan to just learn over the coming races this year so that when I get to the following year after that I know and will do my best.
“At Troutbeck I have a home advantage I have known the course for eight years I know every rock, every corner, every drop. I will give it my best…”
Benade’s long term plan is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.
So far there have been 16 elite male and four elite female entries recorded for the 2018 Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup.
Meanwhile, Coca Cola Marketing Activations manager, Vee Chibanda, takes pride in her organisation sponsoring triathlon through their brands Schweppes in 2015 and 2016 and now Bonaqua since 2017.
“This year marks the 11th edition of Troutbeck African Triathlon Union Cup and the second anniversary for the Bonaqua sponsorship which took over from Schweppes.
“As we celebrate this milestone, we would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the running of this event. As usual, this will be an exhilarating event. We are looking forward to lots of fun, excitement and tough competitions,” she said.