Rising female triathlete Laurelle Brown will carry both the nation and Africa’s hopes at the 2013 ITU Junior World Championships in London on 12 September.
Brown qualified for the prestigious championships after winning a gold medal at the African Triathlon Championships in Agadir, Morocco in May, to become Africa’s leading female triathlete in the U19 category.
The 18-year old Harare-born rising star will line up against other top triathletes from around the world in Hyde Park in London.
Brown, who is heavily tipped to make history by becoming the first Zimbabwean female triathlete to qualify for the Olympics in 2016, has left no stone unturned to ensure she adequately prepares for the prestigious championships.
Due to the harsh local winter conditions, which are not ideal for preparing for the multi-disciplined sport that includes a swim, bike and a running leg, Brown recently shifted her training base to Sunshine Coast Tri Academy (SCTA) in Queensland Australia.
“At the All Africa championship in Morocco on 25 May I qualified for the Junior World Championship grand final in London on 12 September after coming first, ahead of two South African girls, Charne Prinsloo and Robin-Leigh Jones.
“Following this race I decided to come to the Sunshine Coast in Australia to train with Australian coach Toby Coote for this race due to it being winter in Zimbabwe and there being more opportunities in Australia for training and racing to help me prepare for the race,” Brown told Harare News from Australia.
“So far the preparations have been going very well here in Australia. I have been here for three weeks and have seen some improvements.”
Brown’s preparations were given another massive boost after the world triathlon governing body ITU accepted her application to train at the ITU Development Junior & U23 World Camp in Rio Maior, Portugal from 1-9 September.
While in Portugal, Brown will be joined by other outstanding junior triathletes and a group of European mentor coaches as she puts finishing touches to her preparations before leaving for London.
“I decided with my local coach Wayne Davidson to apply for the ITU Junior and U19 Development Camp which will be held in Rio Maior from the 1-9 September.
“The head coach on the camp is from Portugal along with three other coaches from around Europe. Following the camp I will travel to London to meet up with my parents and my Zimbabwean coach Dave Gardener to prepare for the race.
“I am as well prepared as I can be and I just need to make sure I don’t get sick or injured between now and the race. I am extremely honoured to represent Zimbabwe at both the camp and the race,” said Brown.
Since the retirement of two-time Zimbabwean Olympian Chris Felgate after the London Olympic Games last year, Brown has taken over as the country’s leading triathlete. In the Rainbow Beach Triathlon, held on 24-25 August held in Sunshine Coast Australia, Brown won U19 age group and took 2nd female overall. A bright future lies ahead for the former Peterhouse College school girl.