NYANGA – Japan’s female triathlete Aoi Kuramoto romped to victory in the Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon African Cup Elite Women’s race beating pre-race favourite Cindy Schwulst into second place here yesterday.
Kuramoto racing in only her maiden Troutbeck African Cup event led from the 1 500m swim and never looked back consolidating her lead in the 40km bike before a photo finish in the 10km run to win gold miles away from home.
“I really enjoyed the race here, it was my first time to compete here in Zimbabwe; a very tough course because of the high altitude but I’m glad it worked out well in the end,” the pint-sized Kuramoto said after the race.
“I must give credit to Cindy, she’s a very good athlete and pushed me to the limit, I stuck with her for greater parts of the race and with a little bit of luck she would have taken first place but I guess I showed a bit of endurance compared to her.”
South Africa’s Schwulst racing in her fifth consecutive African Troutbeck race and having finished second in the last two editions had hoped for a gold medal this time around but she has to wait again for another year.
“Number two is my favourite position now (she quips) but Troutbeck gold is one medal I still long for and that means I will be here again next year,” Schwulst said.
Chika Sato also from Japan finished in third place, South Africa’s Jodie Berry and Vicky Van de Merwe were in fourth and fifth place while Maude Elaine Le Roux who had indicated that she was a bit under the weather on the eve of the competition failed to finish the race as she surrendered in the second lap of the swim.
In the men elite category, German’s Jonas Schomburg won gold in his second Troutbeck African Cup captalising well on his main strength- swim and held on to the lead until finish. Jean Paul Burger from Namibia came second while Linus Stimmel from German was in third.
“I’m a good swimmer and I’m always in the leading pack in big races so I was really trying to push the pace and try to separate everyone on the swim because that’s what makes the race tough and I feel good because it worked well in the end,’’ Schomburg said.