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Triathlete Brad Kahlefeldt’s Preparation for London 2012 Thrown into Disarray

Brad Kahlefeldt in HospitalAustralian Triathlete Brad Kahlefeldt has been left in a San Diego hospital after coming down ill after the ITU Triathlon World Series event in USA. Brad Kahlefeldt told his team that he reported pains down the left side of his chest during the latter stages of the run at Mission Beach on Sunday. The 31 year old is likely to represent Australia at the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer but his preparations have been hampered.

Possible Diagnosis of Tuberculosis or Pneumonia

Brad Kahlefeldt’s symptoms are believed to be possibilities of the tuberculosis illness or pneumonia. Until an actual diagnosis has been confirmed, Brad Kahlefeldt will have to go through the agony of praying that it isn’t anything too serious that will rule him out of the London 2012 Games as he has been pre-nominated for the Olympics by the Australian National Olympic Committee to compete in the Triathlon events.

Down But Not Out

Brad Kahlefeldt managed to finish 26th in the San Diego ITU season’s event but almost immediately he went to the local hospital in San Diego to undergo chest X-rays which showed a shadow on his left side of his lung which didn’t put Brad Kahlefeldt’s mind at ease. He is to undergo further tests, including a CAT scan which will hopefully give a full diagnosis of how serious the problems are with Brad Kahlefeldt but early indications don’t look to promising for the Australian athlete.

Chances for Madrid Outing Slim

Brad Kahlefeldt and his coaching team had planned on leaving their San Diego resort in USA to travel straight to Majorca, Spain to prepare for the next event in the ITU World Championship Series season which is in Madrid in a fortnight’s time but it looks increasingly unlikely that Brad Kahlefeldt will take any part in the Madrid event. Until he receives clearance from the doctors at the San Diego hospital, Brad Kahlefeldt will remain in isolation.

It is a bitter blow for the Australian Triathlete as he looks set to feature in his second consecutive Olympic appearance after representing the Australian Triathlon team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Despite only winning 1 gold medal way back in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in his home country in Melbourne, Brad Kahlefeldt is currently placed at 7th in the official Men’s Olympic Rankings for London 2012.

Although Brad Kahlefeldt only gained 114 qualification points for his 26th placed finish in the San Diego ITU World Championship Series event, it still took him 1 place above Steffen Juslus of Germany who despite not competing at the San Diego event over the weekend in the men’s event, Steffen Juslus was the winner of the first event in the season at Sydney, Australia earlier this year.

However both athletes are behind the current ITU World Championship Series leader as South Africa’s Richard Murray is currently occupying 1st position after 2 successful races for the African Triathlete in both Sydney and San Diego. He managed to finish 3rd in the San Diego race this weekend but managed to go one better at the first event of the season in Sydney with a silver medal.

What Happened at the ITU World Triathlon San Diego 2012 Event

The ITU World Triathlon men’s event took place yesterday for the second race of the season in San Diego. Great Britain had a successful double to take home from the San Diego ITU World Triathlon Event as after Helen Jenkins win in the women’s event yesterday, Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee managed to storm to victory in the men’s event. The event which consisted of a 1,500 metre swim was then faced by a gruelling 40 kilometre bike ride before a 10 kilometre run to finish the race.

Sibling Rivalry on the Triathlon Track

The Brownlee BrothersJonathan Brownlee who is the brother of the current ITU World Triathlon champion, Alistair Brownlee, was a pre-race favourite before the event took place in San Diego despite being away from competitive Triathlon racing for a good 7 months. The last time that Alistair Brownlee competed in a competitive race was back in 2011 at the WSCGF Beijing event where he finished 3rd behind his brother and Switzerland’s Sven Riederer.

However, not to be denied this time, Alistair Brownlee finished ahead of Sven Riederer of Switzerland to finish first in a time of 1 hour 48 minutes and 47 seconds to further lay down the dominance in men’s Triathlon of the Brownlee name. The Switzerland Triathlete, Sven Riederer, pushed Brownlee hard but in the end didn’t have an answer for the final few metres but will still be pleased with his silver medal.

Qualification for London 2012

For Sven Riederer, it also meant that he had qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games as he needed to finish in the top 15 in the San Diego event which he did so with ease. It will give him another chance to compete at the Olympic stage and hopefully improve on his bronze medal which he won at the 2004 Olympic Games held in Athens. Sven Riederer is also ranked at number 2 in the Men’s Olympic Rankings for London 2012 but incredibly he has yet to win an ITU season’s event since the 2006 Alanya ITU Triathlon Premier European Cup. The ‘nearly man’ has had a number of podium finishes to his name with three bronzes and two silvers.

Completing the top 3 was South African Triathlete, Richard Murray. Richard Murray was trading places with Jonathan Brownlee for the majority of the first lap in the run as they went head to head for around half of the 10 kilometre run.  However Murray had to surrender to Brownlee who had the edge towards the very end of the race and also had to reluctantly fall behind silver medallist Sven Riederer.

Richard Murray Consolidates Sydney Performance

It was still a magnificent effort by Richard Murray who is still only 23 years old and has a bright future in Triathlon. The win has also put him first in the current ITU World Triathlon Series Championships after the first two events as his strong 2nd place finish in the first season’s event in Sydney, Australia combined with yesterday’s 3rd place at San Diego has put him in first place. It also is the first time than an African athlete has lead the ITU World Triathlon Series Rankings which will be a special accomplishment for Richard Murray personally to become the first person to do this. Although he has competed in both of the season’s events in comparison to Alistair Brownlee and Sven Riederer who both missed out on the first season’s event in Sydney earlier this year.

Much of the pre-race build up was about the Olympic spots up for grabs in the men’s USA team. Similarly to the women’s race yesterday, the USA National Olympic Committee set the qualifying criteria for the men which made them aware of where they needed to finish to compete for USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games in August. Laura Bennett’s 3rd place finish in the women’s race yesterday confirmed her place for London 2012 and Hunter Kemper was the successful male athlete for the USA in the San Diego event.

For the men’s event, it was confirmed that the first male athlete to cross the line from the United States will earn a spot in the London 2012 Games regardless of where they finish the San Diego race. Hunter Kemper managed to see off his nearest American competitor Manuel Huerta, by 13 seconds to secure the men’s Olympic spot.

It wasn’t straight forward either as both men exchanged positions to make it an exciting race for the Americans watching on. Huerta and Kemper weren’t the only Americans competing as they were also competing against Matt Chrabot and Jarrod Shoemaker. All 4 USA athletes were extremely close at the end of the 2nd transition as they all left within 20 seconds of each other which proved just how close they were.

Manuel Huerta was still intact with the leading pack and managed to get in 6th place heading into the final lap which surely by Huerta’s thoughts would’ve been high enough to earn his spot in the Olympic team. However, Hunter Kemper had other ideas and had Huerta in his sights just a few places ahead of him and the 36 year old Triathlete made an incredible late surge to go past Huerta and secure fifth place. Although Huerta eventually finished ninth, he managed to book his ticket to the London 2012 Games alongside Hunter Kemper. For Kemper it will be his 4th consecutive Olympics which puts him amongst a few select athletes to have done this. In each Olympics he has improved on his previous finish and will be hoping to continue this tradition as he finished 7th in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

The San Diego event also proved a successful event for the New Zealand team as despite not finishing any athletes in the top 5, they finished with 3 Triathletes in the top 10 which qualifies them amongst the top 8 National Olympic Committee’s therefore being allowed to take three athletes to the London 2012 Olympics. The three men representing New Zealand who finished in the top 10 are Ryan Sissons (6th), Bevan Docherty (8th) and Kris Gemmell (10th).

San Diego Triathlon 2012

Race Report from the ITU World Triathlon San Diego 2012 Event

The ITU World Triathlon women’s event took place yesterday for the second race of the season in San Diego, USA. In perfect race conditions, Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins lived up to the expectations by winning the gold medal in a comfortable time of 1 hour, 58 minutes and 21 seconds.

She was well ahead of her nearest rival, Australia’s Erin Densham who finished just over a minute behind the British female Triathlete. Laura Bennett also had an extremely good race as the American athlete finished in Bronze position which also gave her the final women’s slot in the USA Olympic team for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Helen Jenkins vs. Erin Densham

Helen Jenkins vs. Erin DenshamHelen Jenkins was the pre-race favourite going into the San Diego race as she was narrowly beaten by Erin Densham in the first race of the season earlier this year in Sydney, Australia.

With the home crowd edging her on, Densham was expected to win but on a level field, Helen Jenkins stormed to victory in convincing fashion.

Despite already being confirmed on the Great Britain Olympic team for the London 2012 Games, Helen Jenkins will still be trying to defend her current ITU World Championship title and her performance at San Diego will have put her one step on her way to achieving this. The win put her top of the current ITU World Triathlon standings after 2 races.

Eight women lead the event in San Diego after a breakaway in the bike section to put them 2 minutes and 30 seconds ahead coming out of the 2nd transition, but it was the British Jenkins and Australia’s Erin Densham’s who decided to up the ante and were at the front in the beginning of the first lap of the run.  Erin Densham is still trying to claim her Olympic spot on the Australian team and she tried to lose Helen Jenkins during the second lap and looked to gain a 10 metres lead in front of the British athlete.

1st and 2nd Separated by Over a Minute

However as Erin Densham thought she had a big enough lead, Helen Jenkins proved what a tremendous Triathlete she is as she showed just how much she had left in the tank by steaming ahead of Erin Densham in the latter stages of the race to put the distance between her and Erin Densham to just over a minute when they both crossed the finishing line.

Despite not winning the San Diego event, Erin Densham has now finished 1st and 2nd in the opening two events in the ITU World Triathlon series which is an incredible start to the season. She was also the first Australian to cross the line with Emma Moffatt the nearest Australian to her in ninth and she has already been confirmed in the Triathlon team for Australia for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Emma Snowsill who is another Australian hopeful for the Olympics only managed to finish in 17th which will be a bitter disappointment for the former Olympic gold medallist.

Selection for the Olympic American Triathlete Team

American Triathlete TeamThe event in San Diego was the biggest opportunity for the USA National Olympic Committee to select their American Triathletes for the London Games. The criteria were already set for the Triathletes before the race so they knew what was demanded of them if they wanted to travel to London later this year to compete at the Olympics. The qualification criteria set by the USA National committee for the women’s event states that a top-nine finish will automatically qualify them for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

If more than 1 woman places amongst the top nine athletes in the San Diego event, the top finisher of the multiple athletes will secure the spot on the US Olympic team.

If none of the US women athletes competing in the San Diego event finish in the top nine, then the US national committee for Triathlon will decide on whom to take with them to the London 2012 Games.

First Podium Place for Laura Bennett

Laura Bennett the TriathleteLaura Bennett was one of them female Triathletes hoping to win a place in the Olympic team and she did with an impressive performance in San Diego. With home advantage on her side as well, she capped off an impressive event in 3rd position. It was her first ever series podium and what a perfect time to choose it as it confirmed her place at London 2012 for her second consecutive appearance in the Olympic Games. Laura Bennett was cruelly denied in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as she finished 4th, narrowly finishing outside the podium and will be hoping to go 1 better this year in London. She now puts her name beside Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah Groff as the 3 female Triathletes for team USA.

There was also a very notable performance from Flora Duffy. Flora Duffy of Bermuda had only finished celebrating by the time she arrived in USA for the first ITU race held in San Diego as Duffy won the WTF Huatulco race just last weekend in Mexico. Duffy continued her good reign of form by finishing 6th in the Elite women’s race yesterday. Her position of 6th further boosted her up the officials Women’s Olympic Rankings for London 2012 and is now in 33rd position.

Despite her rise of 11 positions up the Olympic Rankings ladder, she was beaten by Germany’s Anne Haug whose performance at the San Diego event raised her 14 positions. Anne Haug also had the proud achievement of being only the 2nd female athlete at the event to run under 34 minutes, an achievement she shared with the San Diego winner, Helen Jenkins. It’s a big boost to her own Olympic hopefuls as her 7th placed finish enhances her chances of representing Germany. Anja Dittmer is the only confirmed women for Germany so far and Anne Haug is very close to overtaking Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf which would mean Germany would get 3 slots to the London 2012 Games compared to Switzerland’s two slots.

Jessica Harrison of France finished in 4th whilst Sarah Haskins of America finished in 8th and Ashley Gentle just finished in the top 10 which gave Australia 3 athletes in the top 10 for the event in San Diego.

WTS San Diego 2012 Triathlon Event

WTS San DiegoSan Diego will be the second event of the 2012 season that athletes will be able to compete in to gain points for the ITU World Triathlon Series. Not only is it one of the season’s events to compete for the ITU title, but it’s also one of the events where triathletes can secure vital qualification points for the London 2012 Olympic Games later this year.

The triathlon event held in San Diego, United States, takes centre stage on Friday 11 May 2012 and Saturday 12 May 2012 as the start of the elite women’s race kicks off on Friday whilst the men’s event starts the following day.

USA Triathlon Team Showcase

USA triathlon team logoFor USA, it is the main opportunity for American athletes to prove that they have what it takes to compete for USA in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The qualification criteria set by the USA National committee for the women’s event states that a top-nine finish will automatically qualify them for the London 2012 Olympic Games. If more than 1 woman places amongst the top nine athletes in the San Diego event, the top finisher of the multiple athletes will secure the spot on the US Olympic team.

USA Team Qualification Process

If none of the US women athletes competing in the San Diego event finish in the top nine, then the US national committee for Triathlon will decide on whom to take with them to the London 2012 Games. Laura Bennett is the strong favourite for the San Diego event and she is currently ranked 6th in the Women Olympic Rankings for London 2012 but Sarah Groff isn’t far behind in 11th.

Jarrod ShoemakerFor the men’s event, it has been confirmed that the first male athlete to cross the line from the United States will earn a spot in the London 2012 Games regardless of where they finish the San Diego race. Unfortunately Triathlon hasn’t been the most successful athletic sports for the United States and as the Olympic Rankings stand at the minute, USA only represent one Triathlete in the top 50 with Jarrod Shoemaker ranked in 19th place.

The WTS San Diego 2012 event isn’t just for Olympic hopefuls to gain more points for the London 2012 Olympic Games; it is also one of the ITU’s main events for the 2012 season.  There are 8 events altogether in the ITU World Triathlon series and Sydney have already hosted the first main event of the season.

The Birthplace of Modern Triathlon

It will be an especially proud moment for San Diego this weekend as it will be the first time that they have held an ITU race. San Diego is regarded as the birthplace for modern triathlon due to the very first set of Triathletes taking part in a course in San Diego dating way back to 1974. It seems fitting that San Diego has now been awarded a place amongst 8 countries to stage one of the 8 ITU events in a season. It is only the second time the ITU have decided to use the US for one of their events as they used Washington D.C previously in 2009.

Great Britain dominated the ITU World Championships last year with both male and female Triathletes being British. Unfortunately for the male champion, Alistair Brownlee, he is set to miss the San Diego 2012 event due to an Achilles injury that also ruled him out of the first event in Sydney. However, the current women’s champion, Helen Jenkins is set to feature at the San Diego event.

Women’s Preview

Gwen Jorgensen TriathleteHelen Jenkins is a strong favourite to take the gold medal position in San Diego tomorrow as she looks set to go one better than her position in Sydney. In Sydney she was beaten to the gold by Australia’s Erin Densham but Densham had the advantage of the home crowds egging her on but it will be a different story in the US.

The U.S female Triathletes will have the advantage of hometown knowledge as the San Diego course is new so US athletes such as Sarah Groff and Gwen Jorgensen will be familiar with the new look course. Those 2 have both secured their spots for the London 2012 Games but will both be vowing to finish on the podium to boost their chances of winning the 2012 ITU World Series this season.

There are a few other Triathletes who will firmly believe they have a chance of winning the San Diego event with Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf and Melanie Annaheim also on the start line. Canada’s Kathy Tremblay has also been showing good form this season and will be looking to cause an upset on Friday.

Men’s Preview

As mentioned earlier, the current ITU World Series Champion won’t be taking part, as Alistair Brownlee is still recovering from his latest injury. It might not be all bad news for the Brownlee household though as Alistair’s younger brother, Jonathan is set to make his season debut in the San Diego men’s event on Saturday.

His form towards the end of last year makes him a strong favourite on Saturday and he will also be hoping to impress and gain some form going into the London 2012 Games. Similarly to the women, the US male Triathletes will have the knowledge of knowing more about the newly built course than other competitors will have. With the added incentive of the highest placed US athlete certain for a place in the London 2012 Games as well, USA’s Matt Chrabot, Manuel Huerta, Jarrod Shoemaker and Hunter Kemper will all be hoping to finish as high as they can and it wouldn’t be a surprise if one of them finished on the podium in San Diego.

There is also a vital battle between two National Olympic Committee’s at this Saturday’s men’s event between Canada and Australia. Australia are currently ranked 8th in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games which means they will be able to send 3 male athletes to the London Games compared to Canada who are ranked 9th and will only be able to send 2. Simon Whitfield of Canada and Courtney Atkinson of Australia are the athletes who are likely to be the third athlete for both countries will go head to head and the highest placed competitor could be likely to go to the London 2012 Games.

If you want to know more about any of the competitors that took part in this race visit our triathlete profiles page.

Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships in Israel

Eilat Israel
There was heaps of joy for Great Britain as they welcomed back a gold medallist from the European Triathlon Championships at the under 20 level. James Briscoe was the Triathlete who managed to achieve this tremendous accomplishment and despite the London 2012 Olympic Games being too early for the 18 year old, there are high hopes for James Briscoe in future Olympic events and World Championships.

Under 20 Category

The European Triathlon Championships for the under 20’s were held in Israel and James Briscoe was one of 300 that the BTU had of Great Britain athletes represented at the Triathlon event. James Briscoe from Wistaston, Crewe was never expected to compete for the gold medal position but he was said to be overjoyed at his accomplishment in Israel and is now preparing to defend his title in Turkey next year when the European Championships for Triathlon come around.

Euro Triathlon 2012James said after his win: “It is a proud moment to pull on a vest bearing your family name with GBR below it. It’s an honour.” Clearly James is overwhelmed at his success but you can’t blame him for the pride he must feel.

It is especially memorable for Briscoe as he only entered the Triathlon events 3 years ago as a 15 year old. Before that James was a keen swimmer and runner and competed at county level in both events but never thought of Triathlon until he proved successful in his first event in Nantwich.

Briscoe completed the course in Israel in a time of 2 hours 15 minutes which on the day proved more than enough to win the gold medal. His nearest rival in his age group was just under 3 minutes behind which emphasised his dominance in the under 20’s category.

James Briscoe wasn’t the only success story to come out of the European Triathlon Championships in Israel as Andy Roberson was also a success to come out of the events. Andy Roberson was the only Triathlete to quality for the event in Eilat from the Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club.

45-49 Age Group

Triathlon 2012 EurosAndy Roberson managed to finish in tenth position in the 45-49 age group in what was his first ever international event so on a personal level it was a big achievement for the Chichester triathlete. Roberson entered into the sprint distance and had he not had problems during the race he may have finished even higher.

He came out from the swim in 2nd place and his transition to the bike was a very quick one. However, his downfall came during the bike mount as Roberson had difficulties with his shoes that ultimately cost him precious time. The conditions in Eilat, Israel for the event were extremely tough with strong winds blowing off the desert and straight into the Triathletes which made the event even harder.

Despite a strong finish to the race for Roberson in the final run he couldn’t close the gap between him and the front runners and had to settle for 10th position. No doubt Roberson will feel very proud of his achievements in his first ever international event and will be hoping that Great Britain will select him for future events.

Keep an eye on the news feed for all the latest news and goings on in the world of triathlon.

Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup 2012 Event

Huatulco ITU TriathlonMexico are one of the final few countries to have held their Triathlon World Cup event with nations across the world able to enter Triathletes to compete to gain qualification points for the London 2012 Olympic Games coming up. The event which took place in Huatulco, Mexico on Saturday saw 30 women go head to head whilst there were 56 competitors in the men’s event.

It was a very hot afternoon in Mexico which made race conditions even harder than the usual for the athletes which resulted in a lot of casualties with athletes feeling the force of the conditions. With the water and air temperatures reaching high amounts, it was extremely gruelling circumstances for the athletes. Five women did not finish the event whilst as many as 11 male competitors dropped out. The women athletes had it slightly easier as they started in the morning with a narrowly cooler temperature whereas the men kicked off closer to noon with the temperature at its highest for the day.

Women’s Results

Flora DuffyDespite the rising temperatures, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy managed to win her first-ever World Cup event at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon event in Mexico. Flora Duffy managed to complete the course in 2:13:17 which was a very good time considering the race conditions she and the other Triathletes were dealing with. Duffy’s excellent transition time in the first lap gave her the chance to sprint off ahead of the chasing pack which essentially put her in good stead to win the event.

In the end, the Bermuda athlete who participated at the Beijing Olympics only to be disqualified for being lapped managed to finish 30 seconds ahead of her next rival in 2nd place. Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira in similar fashion to Flora Duffy secured her first-ever World Cup medal which enabled her to get vital Olympic Qualification points with her efforts in Huatulco, Mexico. Oliveria’s 2nd place position climbed her up the current Women’s Olympic Rankings for London 2012, raising her 12 places from 68th to 56th, overtaking fellow Brazilian Triathlete Carla Morena in the process.

Completing the final 3 podium positions was original home favourite Claudia Rivas. Despite being the favourite to take the gold medal in her home country, Claudia Rivas was a little off the pace in the run which saw her drop vital seconds behind the 2 front runners. Claudia Rivas was the fastest in the water for the opening part of the race but a slow transition time in T1 meant she was playing catch up in the bike ride which lead to fatigue in the latter parts of the race for Rivas.

The ITU development team also managed to maintain 2 Triathletes in the top 10 in Mexico. Ukraines Yuliya Yelistratova finished in 7th with fellow Team ITU competitors Mateja Simic of Slovenia 30 seconds behind her in 8th.

The Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup 2012 Event was overshadowed with slight concerns when Czech Republic Triathlete, Vendula Frintova collapsed with just less than 50 metres to the finish line and was carried off by medics for treatment. Due to the extremely hot conditions which proved to be too much for Frintova, her collapse dropped her unfortunately out of the top 10 position where she was running.

Men’s Results

Simon de CuyperWith the women’s event taking place first in the morning, the men had to endure even tougher and hotter conditions for the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup event as the men’s event started closer to noon. The temperature of the water got to its highest at 28.6 degree Celsius and the Triathletes also had to complete the event with the run just as the sun reached its peak temperature.

However, in contrast to the women’s race that was completed earlier in the day, there were a number of athletes who enjoyed a spell in first position and wasn’t a 1 person contender for the gold medal position. Belgium’s Simon de Cuyper however was in 1st position when it most mattered as he crossed the finishing line in a leading time of 02:02:34, 16 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Ryan Sissons of New Zealand.

Simon de Cuyper evidently proved the term, ‘it is a marathon not a sprint’, as he was trailing around 2 minutes behind the leaders at some stages of the race. But the Belgian Triathlete stormed past 13 men in the third lap to take the gold medal. The 500 qualifications points that came with the gold medal position were extremely helpful towards de Cuyper’s chances of competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Ranked just inside the top 100 before the men’s event in Mexico, the 500 points took him up 26 positions into 68th in the men’s rankings.

Aurelien RaphaelFrance’s Aurelien Raphael was the first man to lead the event when he exited the water ahead of his trailing competitors to storm into the lead and his first lap of the bike was equally as impressive as he gained a 31 second lead. The intensity he set at the start of the event clearly took its toll as his pace began to deteriorate for the following two laps of the bike as his rivals began to catch up to the Frenchman.

Whilst eventual gold and silver medals winners De Cuyper and Sissons were in the distance, their patience was eventually rewarded. Bermuda nearly managed to achieve a podium position in both the women’s and men’s events but unfortunately Tyler Butterfield fell 10 seconds short of Bronze placed Danylo Sapunov of Ukraine for the ITU development team.

Despite the hot and humid conditions that the athletes were dealt with, Simon De Cuyper managed to find the energy and determination and win his first ITU World Cup in Huatulco, Mexico on Sunday.

Events Left

With the Huatulco ITU Event now over, there are just 2 remaining events for athletes to battle it out for those remaining Qualification points to gain for London 2012. The San Diego event in USA and then the final event in Madrid, Spain are what Triathletes face before London 2012 Olympics.

Triathlon Events at London 2012

Hyde Park is counting the days when they welcome 110 Triathletes from around world to complete in the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is exciting for everyone in London as it gives them a wonderful chance to see these elite athletes compete at the London Games this summer for free due to Hyde Park’s public area. Around 90% of the course at Hyde Park for the Triathlon will be open for spectators to welcomingly come and watch for free as the athletes compete for medal positions for their Olympic countries.

Events

There are just 3 Triathlon qualifying events left before the end of qualifying for the athletes as they attempt to gain more points to boost them up the rankings and give themselves every chance of representing their National Olympic Federation at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Wcup Huatulco 2012 in Mexico is to start on the 6th May 2012, and give the ‘lesser’ nations the chance to gain qualification into the London 2012 Olympics. The San Diego 2012 event is also the national Triathlon event for the US to look at their individual Olympians and who should represent them at the 2012 Games. It’s also another chance for other competing nations to send their athletes to the San Diego event to gain more qualification points. Finally the Madrid event at the end of May is the final opportunity for athletes to gain final points.

Women’s Event

The women’s event takes place before the men’s event and is due to start on the 4th August 2012. 55 female athletes will take part with the 8 top ranked nations gaining 3 entries into the Triathlon event with the other National Olympic Federations getting 2 places each. Since the Triathlon event made its debut at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, only 2 female athletes have appeared in all 3 Triathlon events in every Olympics.

The Perfect Four?

Anja DittmerKiyomi Niwata and Anja Dittmer are both vowing to make it a perfect 4 at this summer’s Olympics Games. Anja Dittmer is extremely likely to qualify for her National Olympic Federation of Germany as she is the top ranked Triathlete in Germany. Her most recent Triathlon event was in the 2012 Dextro Energy World Triathlon in Sydney and she managed to get to 20th in a time of 02:03:16. Anja Dittmer is one of the strongest competitors on the bike for the middle part of the race as she notched up a time of 01:04:47 on the bike but Anja’s times for the swim and the run were less as impressive.

Anja’s best finish at the Olympics in her 3 attempts for Germany was at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games where she managed to finish in 11th position. Japanese Triathlete Kiyomi Niwata is unlikely to have another shot at another Olympics after London 2012 giving that Niwata is 42 years of age. Japan however have nailed down a ranking spot at the London 2012 Olympics which means they can elect 3 athletes for the Triathlon event due to their qualification from the Asian Championships. Mariko Adachi dominated the 2012 Tateyama ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships which cemented her spot for Japan’s team at the 2012 London Olympics but Adachi will be joined by 2 other Japanese female Triathletes including Kiyomi Niwata, Ai Ueda or Tomoko Sakimoto.

Hot Favourites

Despite Japan dominating the Asian Championships earlier this year, they are just 1 of many National Olympic Federations who will be competing at the London 2012 Games for the Triathlon event. Switzerland dominated the Sydney 2000 Olympics women’s event where they took gold and bronze. Australian born Kate Allan then took gold in the 2004 Athens Games but was representing Austria due to gaining Austrian Citizenship in 2002. Australia repeated Switzerland’s performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by taking home gold and bronze in the women’s event and many believe that Australia will once again be the ones to watch in the Triathlon event at London 2012.

Erin DenshamAustralia are guaranteed 3 qualifying spots in the women’s event for London 2012 and all 3 potential qualifiers for Australia are in for a shot at winning gold. Australian’s dominance in Triathlon was for all to see in the 2012 Dextro Energy Event in Sydney earlier this year when 6 out of the top 16 were all Australian. That includes Erin Densham who is hot favourite for the gold medal this summer. Densham was 2006 U23 Triathlon World Champion and is currently ranked 4 in the WTS rankings. Heart problems in 2009 set her back for almost a year but she bounced back and against the odds made a return to the sport. Densham also competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished 22nd.

Erin Densham has a lot of competition alongside her from the fellow countrywomen for the final 2 spots in Australia’s women team as Emma Moffatt has already gained her selection by the Australian Olympic Committee. Emma Moffatt is another favourite for the gold medal and hopes to improve on her Bronze medal she won at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Other Hopefuls

It isn’t going to be all plain sailing for the Australian women’s team in the Triathlon event for the London 2012 Games as Team Great Britain will be more than determined to make their first podium in the event with the Games being held in England. Britain’s Helen Jenkins has already secured her spot at the London Olympics 2012 with her sensational performance at the World Championship Series in London last year where she finished 1st.

Jenkins is currently ranked 2nd in the WTS rankings having gained 1282 points and is only behind New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt. Helen Jenkins won gold medals in the 2008 Vancouver and 2011 Beijing World Championships and will be desperate to get gold on the Olympic stage to complete a fabulous career.

Andrea Hewitt, the world no.1, has had a sensational run in her previous 5 events, finishing 1st on 3 occasions and 3rd the other 2 events. Having used to be a swimmer in her early twenties before deciding to become a Triathlete, the advantages are there for show as Hewitt is extremely good in the swimming part of the race and is also a very strong runner. Hewitt has admitted in a recent interview that if she trained hard to improve making the transition from swim to bike, she could stand a real chance of achieving her first Olympic gold medal and it’s hard to disagree with her because of the quality Hewitt possesses.

 

The Road to the Olympics

The Road to London 2012As the London 2012 Olympics draws ever closer to the world in the summer, the Triathlon events take place in just 95 days on the 4th August 2012. Hyde Park is the location for where the Triathlon event will occur and it will see 55 world class athletes from the men’s and women’s event, swim, bike and then run to complete the gruelling Triathlon course.

The beautiful thing about the venue for the Triathlon event is that around 90% of the route for the course is in ticket zones which are completely free for the public to watch and wouldn’t need to buy a ticket for. So Hyde Park is a great opportunity for people to watch one of the most exciting Olympic events this summer for free!

Qualifying

The women’s event is up first and there will be 55 athletes from across the world competing to get on the final podium which will earn their countries medal positions. The 4th August 2012 is a date very much sketched into many female Triathlete’s diaries and for some it is literally sketched in as some athletes are still trying in vain to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.

Athletes have had from 1st June 2010 all the way through to the 31st May 2012 as the period to qualify for the Olympic Games in London this year. In that 2 year period, it is up to the athletes to qualify for their nations Olympic team according to the criteria demanded by their National Federations.

ITU Olympic Qualification Events

From 1st May 2011 up until the 30th April 2012, Triathletes had the chance to compete in different Continental Olympic Qualification Events to gain qualification points which would boost their chances of gaining a place on their respective Olympic team for the London 2012 Games. The top 8 ranked National Olympic Committee’s at the end of qualification will gain 3 qualification spots for the London 2012 Games whilst the other Olympic nations will gain 2 places.

Qualification Events Left

With the qualification period running out at the end of this month, time is running out for athletes to get vital qualification points on the board in a bid to make their respective Olympic teams. Wcup Huatulco 2012 is one of the three events left for athletes to claim more points for London 2012. The Huatulco events primary objective is more to give the emerging and developing Olympic National Federations a chance to get their athletes to London 2012. Countries such as Ecuador, Serbia, Cuba and Costa Rica are expected to represent athletes at the Huatulco event on the 6th May 2012 and set out to qualify for the Triathlon event for the first time in their nation’s Olympic history.

The US National Federation still have their national Triathlon event still to run later this month in the WTS San Diego 2012 event. The event will also play an integral role for a number of other Olympic teams who choose to compete at the San Diego event to determine their Olympic squads. The final qualifying event is the WTS Madrid 2012.

Countdown to the Olympics

Team GB Triathlon TeamWith just 85 days to go until the London 2012 Olympics arrive; the preparation for the events is well underway with the qualifying spots for the games well underway. For the athletes competing to take centre stage at the Triathlon event, Hyde Park will be the venue in which the Triathlon takes place as athletes look to represent their native countries and achieve the ultimate athlete’s goal of finishing in gold medal position.

Location for the Olympic Triathlons

Hyde Park is a very open area in London and will be sure to bring enthusiastic spectators to watch as the Triathlon events take centre stage on the 4th and 7th of August. It is the perfect venue for the Triathlon races that combine swimming, cycling and running in the 3 course race that can be gruelling for the athletes.  With the sport gaining more and more recognition amongst athletes, Hyde Park will be sure to anticipate an exciting event to take place.

The London 2012 Olympics Triathlon event will consist of a 1500m swim, followed by a 43km bike ride and finished off with a 10km run. The 3 individual events will need to be swiftly dealt with by the athletes and not only for the swim, bike ride and running, but also for the transitions in between which could cost athletes vital seconds.

Women’s Triathlon at London 2012

The women’s race kicks off first on the Saturday 4th August 2012 and will be contested between 55 women athletes who will be confirmed on the sports entry deadline on 9th July 2012. As qualifying still takes place around the world to qualify for one of those 55 prestigious spots available, 2008 Beijing gold medallist Emma Snowsill could miss out. The Australian triathlete missed the race in Queensland in March this year through illness and could face a battle to be selected by the Australia board for the Triathlon event. Fellow Australian Erin Densham took full advantage of Emma Snowsill’s absence as she capped off a remarkable recovery from her heart problems to win the Queensland race.

Emma Moffatt is already named as 1 of the 3 places in the Australian’s Triathlete women’s team but with newly-crowned Oceania champion, Emma Jackson set to take another 1 of them spots, a battle between Erin Densham and Emma Snowsill for the final spot looks increasingly likely.

For Team Great Britain, their most likely athlete to unsettle the Australian’s dominance at the London 2012 games is likely to be Helen Jenkins. The 28 year old is currently ranked number 2 in the WTS rankings and won gold in the London World Championship Series last August which secured her spot in the Triathlon events at the London Olympics 2012.

Despite finishing 21st for Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Helen Jenkins is much more optimistic this time around as she looks to improve on her 21st position this year in her home country. Helen Jenkins is coached by her husband, Marc Jenkins who is also a Triathlete and the pair will be hoping that the summer games can provide Helen with an Olympic medal.

Men’s Triathlon at London 2012

The men’s race is set to start after the women’s race on the Tuesday 7th August 2012. There will also be 55 competitors competing in the men’s race in which is sure to be one of the most in demand for tickets as the men’s competition is set to be an exciting encounter. Since its establishment in 2000, the Triathlon men’s event has seen the same 2 athletes finish in medal positions in 2 out of the 3 Triathlon events in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

Canada’s Simon Whitfield achieved gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the Triathlon’s Olympic Games debut before achieving silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty also aims to go one better as he achieved Bronze in 2008 and Silver in 2004. Bevan Docherty’s spot in the New Zealand team has already been confirmed for the London 2012 Games and he is set to be partnered by 2 other hopefuls for the London Games if New Zealand can maintain their current status in the world top eight before the start of June.

Team Great Britain has failed to finish anywhere higher than 9th in the 3 Olympic Games that the Triathlon has been running. Their last attempt in the 2008 Beijing Olympics was Alistair Brownlee who only managed 12th position in Beijing. However, since his 2008 disappointment, he has turned it into triumph as he went on to become back-to-back winner at the World Championships.

In his home country Alistair Brownlee will be desperate to show he has the winning capabilities at the Olympic Games in front of his country and he will be joined in his attempt to finish on the podium along with his brother. Jonathan Brownlee is also a favourite for gold at London 2012 and with both of them having secured their place for the 3 man Triathlete team; it only leaves 1 more space open.

Olympic Triathlon Favourite

The strong favourite for the final position in the men’s Triathlon team is Will Clarke, who was also a competitor for Team Great Britain alongside Alistair Brownlee in the 2008 Beijing Games. Clarke did his hopes justice when he ended last season ranked ninth in the world and was his biggest career highlight since he came onto the scene as World and European under-23 champion. The final Triathlon event before the London 2012 Games is in Madrid and Will Clarke knows a strong performance at Madrid will give his chances of completing the 3 man team a world of good.

Tim Don is a former world champion but the 34 year old may have to surrender to missing out on the 2012 Triathlon team for Great Britain as his rank has deterred in the latter stages of his career as an athlete. His performance at the 2008 Beijing games will not be one he will want to persuade the Team GB board with either as he failed to finish the event after falling too far behind on the bike leg.

  • To find out more about the Team GB triathlon team click here now.