Pre-race day in Ishigaki and the Local Organising Committee welcomed David Hauss, Aileen Morrison, Kyle Jones, Melanie Annaheim and members of the Japanese National team including Ai Ueda and Yuka Sato as they met the media at the event’s official press conference this afternoon.
Kyle JONES (CAN)
On his impressions of Ishigaki and what this event means in view of the Olympics:
“I’ve been here twice and this is now my third time, but I always enjoy Ishigaki as the people are nice and the course is great. I was the alternate for Canada in 2008, so my goal is to be on the team for this year’s London Olympics, and getting a good result here will definitely help.”
On key elements he is looking to improve:
“I’ve finished fourth a couple of times, and I’m working on speed in training. The run keeps improving and the top guys keep getting faster. Ultimately, to be on the podium, you have to run faster. David has set the bar for this race, so if I can keep up with him, it would be great.”
Aileen MORRISON (IRL)
On how it feels to be back in Ishigaki and on her current condition:
“This is my second time here and it’s great to be back here because of the friendly people and the island is really beautiful. Getting silver was nice last year, but getting gold this time would be fabulous. I started well in Portugal, but did not run well in Sydney, so hopefully I can put together a good performance for all three components.”
On what this event signifies in view of the upcoming Olympics:
“I am between 11th and 15th place in the Olympic simulation rankings. Having started competing in triathlon four years ago, I’ve earned the only Irish slot for contention. This will be my first Olympics, so I’m very excited. I’d like to be consistent throughout the year, and to perform just as well in the Olympics would be even better.”
David HAUSS (FRA)
On his impressions of Ishigaki and what this race signifies:
“This is my first time here in Ishigaki and am discovering the island. It’s really beautiful; it’s similar to a French island in the Indian Ocean. It’s a bit different for me as I’m already qualified for the Olympics. There isn’t a lot of pressure. I’m here today because it was on the way back to Europe and it’s a great opportunity to cheer on my partner (fiancée, Melanie Annaheim). I will be here for her, and for me, it’s just a great pleasure to be here and to enjoy the race. I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
On his objectives for tomorrow’s race:
I recovered well from Sydney and am looking forward to the race on Sunday. I really want to win here because I have never won at a big race before. To win the World Cup would be good for my confidence going into the Olympics.”
Melanie ANNAHEIM (SUI)
On being back in Ishigaki:
“This is the third time for me here in Ishigaki. The last time I was here was in 2009 and have very good memories; I hope it will be the same.”
On her current condition and objectives for tomorrow’s race:
“I struggled in the first two races, but am recovering now and improving some areas. I still need points, so I have to finish in the top-5 for Olympic qualification; that’s the goal for tomorrow. I like to race. I need to race to improve my form, so with every race I get better and better. Ishigaki will play an important part in finding my Olympic performance.”
Ai UEDA (JPN)
On the significance of this event and on her strategy for tomorrow’s race:
“I want to start well on the bike so that I can finish off with the run, which is my strongest point. As I am aiming for the gold in London, this event is important as it will it will affect starting positions. Also, since there is no wetsuit for this race, I think this will be a great opportunity to see how I perform without it.”
Yuka SATO (JPN)
On her strategy for tomorrow’s race:
“Tomorrow, I plan to start well for the swim as that is my best component, and then run away on bike. In the end, if I can run well tomorrow, I’m convinced I can finish on the podium.
Ryosuke YAMAMOTO (JPN)
On the Olympics:
“The Olympics is the highest stage for competition, and I am working right now to see how far I can challenge myself. I’m not racing just for the Olympics, but to see how far I can compete on the international stage. Even after the Olympics, I just want to keep racing to see exactly how competitive I can really be.”
Hosting an ITU Triathlon World Cup for the 17th consecutive year, Ishigaki remains the longest serving host city in ITU history, and will be welcoming 30 women and 56 men representing 30 nations for this year’s edition.
The elite women’s competition is scheduled to commence at 13:00 local time, and the elite men’s competition at 15:45 on 22 April at Tonoshiro Fishing Port in Ishigaki.
Photos and files from Uzi Kakuda