John Paul and Josette Njeri anchored team Triathlon 001 to a first place finish in the mixed relay of the Africa Zone 2 and 4 Triathlon Championship in Watamu, Kilifi County, Kenya.
The duo dominated the two-day championship that kicked off with the elite and age group competition on Saturday before it concluded yesterday.
Running with the elites, John Paul and Josette won their respective age group (under-23) men and women categories, respectively. The duo also won the overall winners’ awards.
But it was the final day that they exhibited their athleticism.
Team Triathlon 001 from Mombasa County that was made up of 14-year-old Iman Kaiza, Soud Hassan, who cheated death barely two weeks ago, John Paul and Josette, the top ranked Kenyan female athlete in the junior category.
Iman had a poor start after the first round, coming last in the swim, bike and run. But her teammates made up for the lost time with both individual and team performances.
John Paul brought his team back into contention for the top medal when he caught up with the leaders to place third in the second lap before handing over to Josette.
Josette, who is set to join a medical school in South Africa later in the year, then beat Brenda Bwire for second place after a strong swim on the mid morning choppy waters at the Turtle Bay Resort beach.
She pushed her bike to the limits before catching up with the leader Vivian Hillier whom she bested in the under-23 event on Saturday.
She then handed over to Soud who is still recovering from a car accident after he was hit by a motorist during one of his cycling practice in the build up to this event.
Njeri, who started racing professionally three years ago, also has her eyes on the 2028 Olympics.
“This place is challenging. The sea here is choppy and there was a lot of head and tailwind in the cycling. It was quite an experience because this is my first competitive race since June,” added Josette who took part at the Africa Triathlon Championship in Egypt last month.
Team Multi Sport Stars that consisted of Bwire, Ted Mwatha, Deya Shah and Trevor Kasongo finished second ahead of Team MileAid (Susan Wanjala, William Nanjero, Gloria Kisiangani and Jesse Okal) that settled for third place.
Meanwhile, Hillier beat Deya Shah for the women’s age group medal while Kaiza settled for third. Joshua Okal and Mark Bifuoli took the first two positions in the men’s category.
The event was organised by the Kenya Triathlon Federation under the watchful eyes of the World Triathlon instructor Retief Freysen of South Africa.