Kiwis Race In Tongyeong; Visser In Noumea
24th April 2008
For immediate release from Tri NZ
Kiwis Race In Tongyeong This Weekend
The latest round of the ITU BG World Cup takes the elite of the Triathlon world to Tongyeong, South Korea this weekend and the Kiwis will be amongst another world class field with the Olympic Games looming large for many countries and individual athletes yet to qualify.
Bevan Docherty, Callum Millward and Graham O’Grady race in the elite men’s race while Sam Warriner is the sole Kiwi in the women’s race on Saturday afternoon New Zealand time.
For Docherty and Warriner it is a continuation of their build up to the Beijing Olympic Games in August while for Millward and O’Grady it is a rare opportunity to experience the thrill and pressure of a World Cup event.
World number 3 Docherty is cagey about his chances this weekend, admitting that racing speed is not his priority so early in the year.
“Everything is focused on Beijing, at the moment I am all about training and hammering my body as hard as I can so my race fitness is not in the best shape but training couldn’t be going better.”
World number 150 O’Grady is looking forward to a return to World Cup racing after effectively taking a year out in 2007 with frustrating illness and injury set backs.
“This feels like it has been a year in waiting, so naturally I am keen to step up and put a good number on the board. I have been training well since about November last year and since January have been working with new coach Mark Elliott. While I haven’t raced in some time I feel I am in good shape and hoping for a good race on Saturday.”
World number 202 Millward will be racing in just his third World Cup race and his first outside Australia and New Zealand. Like O’Grady the 24 year old was hindered by injury in 2007 and will be targeting a strong finish on Saturday to set up a good year in 2008.
Both the men’s and women’s races have attracted strong fields with a number of individuals and countries still chasing starting spots at Beijing.
Amongst the favourites in the men’s will be former world champion Tim Don (GBR), Beijing bound Jan Frodeno of Germany, four-time world cup winner Rasmus Henning of Denmark,
In the women’s race German Ricarda Lisk will be a threat while 2006 junior world champion Kirsten Sweetland from Canada opens her 2008 world cup season in Tongyeong as will teammate Lauren Groves who’s coming off a silver medal performance at the PATCO Pan American Championships in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Also in the field will be Great Britain's promising youngster Hollie Avil who will compete in just her second elite world cup. Last year's junior world and European champion was impressive in her debut, taking bronze at the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup earlier this month.
ITU BG World Cup, Tongyeong, South
Saturday April 26th
Elite Women 1pm
Elite Men 4pm NZT
Live race coverage can be viewed at www.triathlon.org
For results, information, high resolution images and audio clips post race, visit the media centre at www.triathlon.org
Further pre-race notes are available at:
Visser Aims For Top Ten In Noumea
Meanwhile up and coming Kiwi triathlete Ben Visser will race in Noumea this weekend as he looks to make headway on the international triathlon circuit.
It is not the first time 21 year old Visser has raced at the event, one he is using as a stepping stone towards the Vancouver World Championships in June this year.
“I competed in the Noumea International Triathlon in 2005 where I finished 27th. This year I hope to get top 10. However if I feel strong in all three disciplines and stay on track for world champs, then I will also be happy. It is a non-drafting race but given the importance of the worlds, I won’t change my bike position or freshen up too much.”
The fact the race is a rare non drafting event and carries a reasonable prize purse will see a strong field of athletes’line up with the French in particular sending a strong representation.
For Visser though his goals are long term, beyond even Vancouver when he will line up in the elite U23 event.
“My longer terms goals are to be able to support myself comfortably in the next couple of years, confirm myself as one of the top NZ triathletes and then to go to London 2012. However because of my age I will be gunning for 2016 as well.”
Results from Noumea will be posted to www.triathlon.org.nz