Story by Lawrence Trusida
ZIMBABWEAN triathlon teenage sensation Anje van As, a first timer on the juniors circuit, shocked a star studded field after she finished fourth in the Junior Africa Cup at the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup held at Troutbeck resort in Nyanga this Saturday.
At just 15 years, Anje van As was the toast of the day after crossing the line in fourth place in the Triathlon Junior Africa Cup.
Anje was competing in the junior women’s category for the first time after graduating from the youth ranks.
The talented athlete came out of the water second, behind eventual race winner Cadance Ribbink after a great swim.
She did not waste any time in the transition zone before taking on Ribbink on the 20km ride.
Anje kept pace with the vastly talented Ribbink on the track before she fell behind on the 5km run.
For an athlete who is recovering from a foot injury and competing in Troutbeck for the first time, she was happy with her efforts.
“I am happy with my efforts. I had to push hard to finish. My target was top five and I managed it, at one time I had to fight a lot mentally and I am glad I represented my country,” she said.
Another local star Nicole Madya was behind her after finishing fifth.
Although most of the gold medals went to South Africa who scooped the top three positions with Cadance Ribbink first, followed by Lome Gouws and Mia Van Der Veen, it was the outstanding display by the locals that gave an impression at the event.
In the Junior men’s race it was not a good day for the hosts as Mandlenkosi Mthetwa finished the race while Duwan Botha did not finish.
South African Sean Woolfadt won the race.
The South African dominance continued in the elite women’s race as Shanai Williams romped home ahead of the other 10 women.
Irishman Edgar James won the Elite men’s race ahead of Dylan Nortje and Jorge Alcaron.