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Edmonton the Toughest Test Yet on Triathlon Calendar

Edmonton the Toughest Test Yet on Triathlon Calendar

Triathlon New Zealand is looking forward to this week’s ITU Elite World Championships in Edmonton with a sense of determination, having galvanised on the back of some recent success following disappointments at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Andrea Hewitt and Nicky Samuels arrive in Edmonton in the top ten world rankings, fresh from silver and bronze medals in the Stockholm WTS, with further recent medals for Juniors Elise Salt and Tayler Reid. Everyone racing in Edmonton is however aware that the ITU Grand Final or World Championships is another step again, with all the world’s best gathered in one place at the one time.

Tri NZ High Performance Director Graeme Maw is in Edmonton.

“We are pleased with the progress our development squads have been showing, with strong performances through the European campaign and at the Youth Olympic Games, and obviously encouraged by performances in Stockholm on Saturday – not just Andrea and Nicky, but growing assurance in the performances of Tony Dodds and Simone Ackermann at that level.

“The World Championships and Grand Final however are the first time all the world’s best have been together in one place this year, and the strength in depth will be exceptional from Juniors (U19) to Elites. As we are constantly reinforcing, we will be emphasising athletes executing positive race plans to be in competitive positions”.

Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh is also conscious of the step up in standard across all events in Edmonton. And, while not making up for the disappointment of missing a medal in Glasgow, Waugh says those recent performances should nonetheless be celebrated in the wider context of the 2020 High Performance Strategy.

“What we have seen in recent weeks from our athletes, in particular our development athletes, is the progress being made within the High Performance Programme, with athletes and coaches working closely with our Tri NZ HP team in Cambridge to achieve these results.

“We did not step back from the disappointment of Glasgow and we will discuss and go on the record with the High Performance Sport New Zealand led debrief once completed. But we are in year one of an eight year high performance strategy, one that has a strong focus on youth and the 2016 and then 2020 Olympic Games.

“We will celebrate milestones along the way and it is important that these successes are recognized and that the work of the HP Programme becomes more widely known and understood, but the HP Strategy has the date 2020 on it for a reason.

“Edmonton is another important challenge, another big step up for all of our athletes in all race categories as the best in the world assemble, all planning on their best performances of the year.”

Racing in Edmonton this week covers all world championships categories, from age group racing (with a strong New Zealand team competing) to the elite categories of Junior (U19), U23 and Elites.

Age Group, Junior and U23 categories are one off World Championship races while the elite men and women race in the Grand Final of the ITU World Triathlon Series, with the Edmonton race accounting for close to double the normal points available throughout the year, with world champions to be crowned at the conclusion of racing based on the accumulation of points throughout the season.


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