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.
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.
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?
Kiyomi 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.
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.
Australia 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.
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.