Africa Triathlon titles secured by Van Der Merwe and Abassi

by Ben Eastman on 22 Apr, 2024 08:29 • Español
Africa Triathlon titles secured by Van Der Merwe and Abassi

A fantastic weekend of action at the Africa Triathlon Championships was crowned by the gold medal-winning performances of Vicky Van Der Merwe (RSA) and Merwann Abassi (MAR). After successfully hosting the standard-distance championships in 2023, Hurghada in Egypt again took on the responsibilities for 2024, and the impressive event was matched by the athletes’ performance levels.

Too easy for Van Der Merwe

Vicky Van Der Merwe arrived in Hurghada having not lost on the continent since May 2023, that run of success since encompassing six straight wins in Africa. Such has been her dominance, her regional rivals have been left scratching their heads at how to beat her.

The South African star was the fastest in the water and opened up a considerable lead into T1. Andie Kuipers (ZIM) would manage to catch Van Der Merwe on the bike and the two athletes rode clear at the front. By the time they made it into T2, they led by over 10 minutes.

From there, Van Der Merwe ran clear with a superlative running display. Her time of 36:10 was by far the quickest in the field and set up a massive victory. Kuipers held on to claim the silver medal while Julie Staub (MRI) was the best of the rest and took home the bronze medal.

Abassi flies the flag for Morocco

In the absence of both Jawad Abdelmoula (MAR), a WTCS medallist and the 2023 African champion over the sprint distance, and Badr Siwane (MAR), a World Cup regular, Morocco needed someone to step up in Hurghada. That responsibility fell upon the shoulders of Merwann Abassi (MAR).

In only his first season out of the Junior ranks, Abassi powered to victory at the Africa Championships on the back of a sterling all-round performance.

After losing ground in the swim, Abassi rode up to the leaders as a front pack of five came together. Zakaria Chtioui (TUN) had led out of the water and was a key presence in the front pack, as was Jean Gael Laurent L`entete (MRI), the current leader in the African men’s Olympic New Flag race. The lead quintet worked well together and distanced the chasers as much as they could.

Once onto the run, Abassi was the only made in the lead pack to run under 35 minutes for the 10km. He clocked 33:54 and took the win in relative comfort. Abassi’s compatriot, Mohamad Nemsi (MAR) ran through from the chase pack to take the silver medal with the fastest run of the day (33:22). Chtioui then secured the bronze medal for Tunisia.

You can find the full results here, and follow the progress of the newly-crowned African champions as the season unfolds across all World Triathlon channels.

Related Event: 2024 Africa Triathlon Championships Hurghada
19 Apr, 2024 • event pageall results
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