With top-15 performances at this past weekend’s ETU Triathlon European Championships in Lisbon, five Germans will race for the last two spots on the German Olympic team. Three men will battle for the final ticket to Beijing including Andreas Raelert, Maik Petzold and Christian Prochnow. Raelert, who finished 6th in Athens and 12th in Sydney, was the top German in Lisbon, finishing in fourth place. He was just edged out by Swiss Olivier Marceau for bronze in a photo finish. Petzold finished 10th at European Championships and is seeking his second trip to the Olympics. Prochnow was 12th to keep his Olympic dreams alive.
On the women’s side, as expected, it will be a heated duel between two-time Olympian Joelle Franzmann and Christiane Pilz. Franzmann was fifth at European Championships and narrowly missed earning her Olympic spot at the Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships last year. With a 13th place finish in Lisbon, Pilz is still in the running for her first Olympic spot. In 2004 she was forced to miss the Games after sustaining an injury shortly before the opening ceremonies.
But in less than two weeks all previous results won’t matter for these athletes as their 2008 Olympic dreams will all come down to Madrid. The criterion for these athletes is simple: whoever crosses the line first is on their way to Beijing in August. The Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup will go on May 25. Log onto triathlon.org for live coverage.