NAIROBI, November 17 – Top Spanish athletes Xavier Llobert and Isaac Lopez are among over 500 triathletes that will take part in this weekend’s African Cup Triathlon in Mombasa.
The continental event has also attracted teams from Greece, Austria, Germany and South Africa.
Other renowned participants include Israeli twin brothers Ran and Dan Altermanin the men’s category while the females will have Saleta Cayla, Sara Loehr and Monica Pellejero all from Spain while Shawna Novak will represent Israel.
The triathlon, an endurance sport which consist of swimming, cycling and road running, will take in some of Mombasa famous landmarks like the medieval edifice Fort Jesus and the town itself.
“The race will start at Nyali bridge from where the athletes will swim 1.5 kilometres upto Fort Jesus, then they will cycle into the Mombasa city centre through Mama Ngina drive a distance of 40 kilometres then the final 10 kilometres will see the athletes run through the heart of Mombasa,” said International Triathlon Union (ITU) Secretary General Suleiman Said Abeid on Monday.
Top ITU official Thanos Nikopoulos will lend his vast officiating expertise gained over countless ITU events by helping the local organizing committee to host the African Cup and also to hold a Level 1 technical officials workshop.
South Africa’s Hendrik de Villiers and Emma Davies of Ireland won last year’s event.
Meanwhile, Kenya hopes to secure the rights to host the Triathlon World Cup within the next three years.
International Triathlon Union (ITU) Secretary General Suleiman Said Abeid said on Monday that he is confident the participation of elite triathletes and increased prize money will help Kenya submit a viable bid for the sport’s showpiece event.
“We hope that by 2010 or 2011 we will be able to bring the World Cup Triathlon to Kenya so by that time we hope to meet the standard requirements and also raise the cash to sustain the event,” said Suleiman.
Spin Knit Dairy will sponsor the event for the sixth year in a row and have increased their sponsorship for the 2008 edition to Sh500,000 which also includes sporting apparel and dairy products.
Spin Knit Managing Director Bhupendra Shah said that his company’s relationship with the triathlon has contributed immensely to its growth.
“We are happy to have been involved with this event since its inception six years ago and we are glad it has matured in stature and size to attain international recognition,” said Shah.