The last champion in Yokohama Lisa Norden (SWE) and this year’s Australian break-out stars Emma Jackson (AUS) and Brendan Sexton (AUS) met with the media at the official pre-race press conference for the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Yokohama on Friday. The press conference first started with the international athletes, then the stars from Japan. The Japanese women’s team, deep in talent, was represented Ai Ueda (JPN), Mariko Adachi (JPN), and Juri Ide (JPN). Also joining them to speak with the media were their male teammates Yuichi Hosoda (JPN), Asian Games gold medallist and Hirokatsu Tayama (JPN).
Marisol Casado, the President of the International Triathlon Union and member of the IOC, began by offering a special thanks to the athletes. She went on to thank the media, the local organising committee and the city of Yokohama for organising the competition under the difficult circumstances.
On competing only one week after Beijing:
“This is going to be my third race in three weeks with two more to go. I spent some time in Beijing doing some basic conditioning. I really can’t afford to rest up too much but I hope that my legs will come back for Monday morning.”
On recovering from injury:
“As an athlete it is sometimes good when you are forced to take off time from training because you have to work on your weaker parts and those that you might neglect in your normal training. I am hoping that I have built up some strength that I did not have three years ago, but I’m also not 100% fit as I was for the Yokohama race in 2009.
On the race in Yokohama:
“The course is such that it may not be the best for me because I like a hill on the bike and being from a cold country, I’m not so used to the humidity and heat. The reason I won in 2009 was through smart racing and taking the advice of my coach. I am in a different position this year as there are some girls who are much faster than me and I need a lot of luck if it’s going to come my way, but I’m really happy to be back in Yokohama.”
On her season:
“I’ve had some good results in my last two races finishing the 2011 season. I’m looking forward to getting a good start to the 2012 season in Yokohama. Hopefully a good result here along with my last few races will further state my name within the Australian team and hopefully get selected for London next year.”
On her hopes in Yokohama:
“Most people who competed in Beijing are here in Yokohama so everyone has to do the same, just make sure you don’t train too hard and recover properly from the travel. Personally, in Yokohama I would love to get a good result on the board and come off the bike in the main pack. Unfortunately I was a bit behind last week in Beijing in the chase pack.”
On having any concerns about the race in Yokohama:
“We heard some things about the air and water quality here. I don’t think the ITU or the Japanese organising committee would hold an event if there were any risks of health issues at all. I have every faith that they have not put our health at risk from any fall back from the disaster. I think coming here now for the Japanese people is probably the best thing that we could do at this time.”
On making the Australian Olympic team:
“Australians have a really strong history in triathlon. To aspire to the Olympic team is something that is very difficult to even think about, let alone attempt to make. This year has been pretty tough as well, we’ve got some older guys who are still among the top in the world, Brad (Kahlefeldt) and Courtney (Atkinson) and Chris McCormack and a whole group of younger guys who are also coming through.”
“To be in the running for the Olympic team is something that I am happy with to begin with and if I were to make the team and continue the results that I had earlier in the year then that would be something that I would be very proud to do.”
On her season:
“This season I have had some very good races and some not so good races with nothing in between. My greatest weapon is my run so to have a good race I need to get into a good position before the run. My aim is to shorten my run by 30-40 seconds. Here, I want the Japanese people to see that the triathletes are making efforts to support those in the earthquake areas.”
On her hopes in Yokohama:
“At the race here in 2009 I didn’t have a good result as I fell from the bike, but since then my riding technique and speed has changed a lot, so I hope to have a positive race here. I’m thankful that this race in Yokohama has finally been realised so I really want to challenge my power and ability here.”
On his hopes in Yokohama:
“It is really great to be in Yokohama that is famous for many things. In the race this weekend I hope that I can assert myself as much as I can from the very start beginning with swim.”
On competing in Yokohama:
“As an elite athlete I really want to support the triathlon in Yokohama. I want to get in the first group in the swim and it must be a very crowded race on the bike, so before getting onto the run I want to have gained some room from the bike.”
The 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Yokohama takes place on Monday 19 September beginning with the elite women’s race starting at 8:05 and the elite men at 11:05.
Marisol Casado visits Shichigahama, Miyagi in the Tohoku area, devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in March this year
The 2011 World Champions have been crowned but now the race for the 2012 titles begins on Monday in Yokohama. Three Grand Final medallists, four Olympic medallists and the return of an ITU legend highlight the fields