Kuipers finishes fifth at Troutbeck, shifts focus to African Games

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Zimbabwe’s leading triathlete Andie Kuipers kept her hopes of qualifying for this year’s Olympic Games in Paris alive following a commendable fifth place finish in the women’s elite race at the Bonaqua Africa Triathlon Cup Troutbeck in Nyanga on Saturday.

Kuipers finished behind Ireland’s Elizabeth Carr, who claimed the victory in her maiden appearance at the gruelling Troutbeck race.

Marit Van Der Berg from Netherlands finished in second position while Antonela Manac from Romania completed the podium ahead of Ikeno Minori from Japan, who settled for fourth position.

Ireland’s Elizabeth Carr

Kuipers was pleased with her overall performance. She however admitted she could have done much better during the swim leg even though she covered up for her struggles with strong show on the bike before the running leg.

“I needed to get early points for the Olympics, hope I did hence this race was very important for me coming up against a host of talented girls,” Kuipers said after the race.

“Obviously I had to shrug off some rust having completed here at Troutbeck four years ago and not have done it any better. I am satisfied with how I did, it may not be the position that I looked forward to, so happy on the overall with my performance.

“It was not easy, no matter what position I came out, I just told myself that I needed to push harder till the end.”

Kuipers, who was competing in her first race of the year, will be hoping to continue improving as she heads into a strech of five crucial races including the Africa Games in her bid to punch her Olympic ticket.

 

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