Triathlon ace Kuipers finishes fourth at African Games despite being shown wrong route

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Andie Kuipers

Zimbabwe’s leading triathlete Andy Kuipers has bemoaned the poor organisation of the triathlon women elite race held at the African Games in Accra, Ghana after it cost her a medal on Friday.

The 22-year-old US-based rising star was initially ushered to the wrong route by the competition marshals during the bike leg, before later taking the correct course during the race at the continental sporting showcase.

Despite the major setback, Kuipers still managed to finished fourth in the race in which was won by South Africa’s Vicky van der Merwe.

ACCRA, GHANA – Friday 14 March 2024, Vicky van der Merwe of Team South Africa wins the women’s triathlon at the Borteyman Sport Complex during Day 9 of the 13th African Games hosted in Accra, Ghana.
Photo Roger Sedres, Team South Africa

Another South African triathlete Sharne Williams won the silver while Algeria’s Kahina Mebarki pipped Kuipers for the bronze medal.

Zimbabwe was represented by two athletes in the women’s elite race with Lorna Doorman, finishing on sixth position.

“On the bike after the first lap these people sent us the wrong way, and by the time we realised it and got back to the track, more people had come from behind,” Kuipers said after the race.

“So from the point of organising the game, they didn’t up the game. That was terrible,” she bemoaned after the race.

Despite missing a podium finish, Kuipers added that she was happy with her performance.

“I wanted the podium but I’m happy with being fourth. I am even happy with how l executed in the race it was a positive show.

“The race was pretty hard, normally I’m used to a open water swim but this was a swimming pool but still I was happy with my swim,” she added.

Kuipers is aiming to qualify to represent Zimbabwe at the Paris Olympic Games late this year.

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