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Pre-Race Press Conference Highlights from Auckland World Triathlon Grand Final

19 October 2012 by Merryn Sherwood
Pre-Race Press Conference Highlights from Auckland World Triathlon Grand Final

The tough course, the weather conditions and the world championship titles were the topics the top triathletes tackled as they met the press in New Zealand on Friday. The four athletes most likely to vie for the ITU World Championship titles, Jonathan Brownlee, Javier Gomez, Lisa Norden and Erin Densham, as well as New Zealand’s multiple-Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty and last year’s Grand Final winner Andrea Hewitt, spoke to the press in Auckland today ahead of the 2012 Barfoot&Thomson ITU World Triathlon Grand Final weekend.

Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
On the conditions:
“It’s pretty cold here, it’s very similar to England the weather here, which feels a bit strange as I’ve travelled two days to get here and it’s the same weather as home, it changes every 10 seconds. But I’m pleased to be here.”

On the course:
“Well I think it’s a great course, I like hard courses like this and we’ve always asked for hard courses and I think one of the great things about the world series is that you can experience different courses. You can have a flat course in San Diego and then to come to Auckland and have hard hilly course, great. I think it suits me, it suits triathletes who are good swim, bikers and runners.”

Erin Densham (AUS)
On her preparations for Saturday’s race:
“I’ve decided that this is going to be my last race for the year, I was going to stretch it out and do Xterra world champs next weekend but I’ve had enough for the year and I’m hoping to end on a high note…because I want it over and done with quickly that I will race faster maybe just so it can end quicker, but I’m looking forward to it. So let’s see if I can end on a high.”

Lisa Norden (SWE)
On the possibility of another sprint finish:
“I think I’ve had enough of sprint finishes for this year to be honest, it’s been probably a couple too many already.”

On how the race will play out:
“I definitely think this bike course is going to make a big impact on the run, it’s not going to be a fast and furious run like you are bunched up together, but you will get that spread out field where everyone is fighting for their survival to the finish line. I’m very excited about the course and having that kind of hard race to finish off with, it’s very fair bike course for everyone.”

On how much she has thought about the points required to overtake Densham to win the world title:
“The only thing I can control out there is myself, I have no impact on any other athletes. Obviously I trained very hard and I know there is a gold and a world championship title on the line, so I am going to do my best to you know, have a cracker of a day out there. I think any athlete goes into every race wanting to win it and if I go in with that kind of mentality I’m also going to come out with a very good outcome at the end of the day, and that’s an outcome that would mean a lot to me…finishing off with a great race here would put an end to a fantastic season.”

Javier Gomez (ESP)
On the foot injury he dealt with after the London 2012 Olympic Games:
“It’s 100 percent healed and I’ve been training quite good since Yokohama, the last few weeks in Christchurch were quite ok, maybe not my best fitness ever but I hope I will have a good one.”

Bevan Docherty (NZL)
On whether this is his final ITU race:
“For the record, I’m really not too sure what I’m doing, I know I’m focusing on long course but there is still that desire to race in these events…but certainly London was my last Olympic campaign and I’m just excited about the future, but got to get this one out of the way first and what a fantastic course and a great place to have the race at the end of the season.”

Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
On whether she can challenge Norden and Densham for the title:
“I hope so, I’m feeling pretty good, I feel like I’ve been building up the last two months since after the Olympics I had a couple of weeks off and yeah, I feel better and better each day. And this is a race in New Zealand in my home country so it means a lot to me to do well here, just like last year, I came here and it was the end of the season but I picked it up and won it on this course. This type of course suits me as well so hopefully it will be a good one.”

The 2012 Barfoot&Thomson ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland gets underway tomorrow with three ITU World Championship deciders back to back. The Under23 women’s world title race starts the action at 9.15am, followed by the elite women’s Grand Final at 12.15. The men’s Under23 world championship rounds out the competition on Saturday at 3.15pm. The action then continues on Sunday with the junior men’s and women’s and elite men’s events, followed by age-group and paratriathlon on Monday. You can watch all the elite action live on www.triathlonlive.tv, and follow live text updates on @triathlonlive and @ituonline.

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