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Olympic Champion gets back in the saddle.

Olympic Champion gets back in the saddle.

Olympic gold medallist Hamish Carter is to start racing again this weekend after a 6-month layoff following his victory in Athens.

Carter has chosen the XTERRA event in Rotorua on Saturday April 16th for his debut race as Olympic Champion and is one of three Olympians to take part in the international off road triathlon.

In his come back event, Carter will return to defend his title in the men’s event against two times Ironman Champion Bryan Rhodes and last years XTERRA runner up and mountain bike specialist Jon Hume.

Carter can’t wait to start racing again and is delighted that it is in New Zealand and in one his favourite races “I can’t wait to race again and it is fantastic that I can do it in New Zealand and in one of my favourite races”.

In the women’s event 2003 New Zealand XTERRA winner and Sydney Olympian Evelyn Williamson has returned to race last years winner and age group World Champion Sonia Foote. Entering the mix for the first time are also Sam Warriner who finished a very credible 16th in her first Games in Athens and Heather Evans who finished 4th in the Manchester Commonwealth Games.

The international off road triathlon series is raced over a 1km lake swim, 30 km mountain bike and 11km trail run. The New Zealand course held in Rotorua’s stunning Blue Lake has been heralded as the most stunning course on the world circuit and up to 3,000 people are expected to participate in the festival’s various events.

XTERRA is now the fastest-growing multi-sport event in the world. The XTERRA Global Tour holds championship events in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, the Czech Republic, Japan, Italy, South Africa, Brazil and Saipan.

Top-ranking athletes from these national championships are invited to compete with athletes who qualified in the US series at the Nissan Xterra World Championship each October in Wailea, Maui.

© Scoop Media

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