Between August 30th and September 2nd, the German city of Hamburg hosted the World Triathlon Championships. Grenada was represented by Clare Morrall, President of the Grenada Triathlon Association. Three race courses in central Hamburg were used over the championships, each with a swim in the Alster Lake, a bike course through the city streets and a run course partly along the lake. Racing conditions were rather different from those of the Caribbean! The water temperature was a rather chilly 16.2 degrees centigrade; air temperatures were in the low teens and some unwelcome head winds blasted competitors at times on the bike course. Aside from the weather, the racing was great.
A total of 2500 Age Group athletes swam rode and ran either the Sprint or Olympic distance races. Amateur athletes from over 70 nations selected by their respective country triathlon federations raced in the Age Group category on Sunday, a day after 3500 athletes raced in the Open category. After a strong swim, bike and run, Clare finished the Olympic distance course in 2 hours and 40 minutes, placing 50th out of 83 athletes in her age group. The Grenada flag was held high over the entire championships, joining the Caribbean nations of Barbados who was represented by the talented junior athlete Jason Wilson and age grouper Derek Wilson along with Winston Crooke from Nevis.
The 2007 World Championships was a superbly run mega event that attracted thousands of athletes and huge crowds of spectators who lined the lake and the streets for the Open, Age Group and Elite races. The final race of the Championships was the Elite Men’s race. Beijing Olympic places were assured to those who took the top ten places so the stakes were high. The men’s race was won by German Daniel Unger in an incredible in 1 hour 43 minutes.
More information on the World Championships, including full results and video footage of the championship races is posted on the International Triathlon Union website at: www.triathlon.org
Next years World Championships will hosted by the Canadian city of Vancouver in June. The Grenada Annual Triathlon, which will be held over the weekend of April 26/27th, will be great preparation for the World Champs- make a note of the dates now and visit www.grenadatriathlon.com.