Docherty Set for Beijing Showdown
Docherty Set for Beijing Showdown
Beijing this weekend plays host to the ITU World Triathlon Championships, with racing in all age group categories as well as elite age group U19 and U23 as well as the Grand Final in the Dextro Energy ITU World Champs Series, with Andrea Hewitt within striking distance of a top three finish on the back of a consistent season of racing and the men chasing a qualifying spot for the London Olympic Games with a top eight finish.
Two time Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty knows better than most the value in qualifying for the Games with plenty of time to spare. With the Kiwis failing to book any spots in London at the recent World Champs Series event on the 2012 Olympic course, Beijing presents another opportunity and it is one the American based Kiwi is keen to grab.
Bevan Docherty winning the Edmonton ITU World Cup race earlier this year, credit: Richard Lam/ITU
“I’m in great shape – although having said that I was also in great shape heading into London but I’ve managed to hold my form together for this weekend’s race, I’m looking forward to a good result and once again I have no excuses.
“Not qualifying in London has added pressure and to be honest I would have liked to have gone into this weekend already qualified and taken away that pressure. But sometimes a bit of pressure can be a good thing and could bring the best out of me on a course I have done well on in the past. It is frustrating not to have qualified but I still have a job to do, I’m in great shape and looking forward to a good race.”
Beijing is a course that Docherty has had some success on, most notably of course winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics.
“It is a bit hillier than London so will probably take a bit more sting out of the guys legs on the bike and in the run. I can play on my strength as a strength athlete but having said that going into London I was running really well and it’s the million dollar question - why wasn’t I performing well? Maybe the fact I didn’t qualify there means I will race a little more aggressively and maybe that is the missing link so we’ll see. I have nothing to lose going into this race and I am in very good shape so once again I am expecting a good result.”
There can be no doubting that he Olympic dream is still very much alive for the experienced New Zealander.
“That is what drives me at the moment, it hasn’t been the greatest year, I have only had a few wins this year. It is frustrating to struggle to make the top ten when I am used to being on the podium. The fire is certainly stoked as far as going for Olympic gold, that is something that drives me day in day when it comes to training, there hasn’t been any slacking off in the past few weeks and still plenty of pain going through my legs. The desire is there, it is a little bit frustrating but yes, I still believe.”
Docherty or indeed any of the elite men must finish in the top 8 overall and first Kiwi to secure a nomination for the London Games. After Beijing the next opportunity for New Zealanders to qualify will be at the Sydney round of the 2012 ITU World Champs Series.
New Zealand will be represented in all elite divisions with the following athletes lining up:
All times NZT
Junior (U19) Men – Sunday 11th 8.15pm
Aaron Barclay Gore
Lachlan Davey Wellington
Andrew Ranford Auckland
Junior (U19) Women – Saturday 10th 2.45pm
Maddie Dillon Auckland
Mikayla Nielsen Hamilton
Laura Wood Christchurch
U23 Men – Friday 9th 4.30pm
Tom Davison Christchurch
Sam Osborne Rotorua
U23 Women – Saturday 10th 7.15pm
Simmone Ackerman Whangarei
Rebecca Kingsford Tirau
Elite Men – Saturday 10th 4.30pm
Bevan Docherty Taupo
Ryan Sissons Auckland
Clark Ellice New Plymouth
James Elvery Auckland
Kris Gemmell Palmerston North
Martin Van Barneveld Wellington
Elite Women – Sunday 5.30pm
Andrea Hewitt Christchurch
Nicky Samuels Wanaka
Kate McIlroy Wellington
Debbie Tanner Auckland
Further previews will be released this week covering the elite men’s and elite women’s races.