Triathlon stars-to-be from Africa train in France with the aim set on the Olympics
Seventeen young triathletes from Mauritius, Tunisia, Namibia, Egypt, Niger, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Benin, along with eight coaches from those countries, have been selected to participate in a development camp in Brive (France) organised by the Francophone Association of Triathlon and supported by the French Triathlon Federation, the African Triathlon Union and the International Triathlon Union. The main objective of the camp is to identify the best young athletes from Africa and initiate with onto a mentorship program with the hope of leading several to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“It is vital for us to detect new talents in countries where having a triathlon careers is not an easy task, and these kinds of development camp are one of the things ITU is most proud of”, said ITU President and IOC member, Marisol Casado, who was present in the camp for the first two days.
“We are extremely grateful to the francophone nations and the French Federation for organising this camp, bringing these young athletes the opportunity to train together and in perfect conditions to develop their international triathlon career. I am confident that we will see some of these young faces in the Olympic Games in the future, which is the pinnacle for all the athletes”, she said.
The young triathletes were selected through their results in the African Championships a few months ago, and traveled to France for a week of intensive training in the Lac du Causse, in Brive, under the supervision of Laurent Massias, head coach from France. At the end of the camp, all the athletes will be competing at the open race of the French University Championships.
“Triathlon Zimbabwe is so appreciative to the ITU and the beautiful city of Brive for this experience they have organised for us”, said Pamela Fulton, a coach from Zimbabwe. “It is really important for our athletes to gain experience in Europe not only for training and racing but also being exposed to different cultures. And we are also very excited to hear that there will be ongoing support leading up to 2024 Paris Olympics”, she added.
Philip Lescure, president of the French Federation, said: “We would like to share the Francophone culture through sport and at the same time develop our sport to take it a higher level. Brive has all the resources and infrastructure, and is the perfect location for this”.
Moutari Abdoulayem, head coach of Niger, said: “It is a great opportunity to have athletes together from different countries but it is also a great opportunity for the coaches, for networking and exchanging experiences lead by a high-performance coach such as Laurent. We are focusing here on the young generation, the one who has the seeds of the future in our sport”.