By ITU Admin on 14/04/06 at 12:00 am
Athletes are gathered on the small fishing island of Ishigaki, Japan for the tenth anniversary of the ITU Ishigaki World Cup triathlon, taking place this Sunday, April 16th. While in its tenth year as an ITU World Cup the Ishigaki triathlon has been running for the past 16 years. Now days, the race attracts over 2,000 Age Group competitors and 75 Elite athletes to swim its crystal clear waters.
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Live starts with the women’s race at 1:00pm local time (GMT+9) while the men’s race is scheduled for 3:45pm.
London : 05:00
Sydney : 14:00
Vancouver : 21:00 (Saturday April 15)
New York : 00:00
Annabel Luxford (AUS) is looking to secure her third World Cup win in as many races this weekend as she hopes to retain her number one position in the World Cup rankings.
Strong competition will come on the women’s side from Liz Blatchford (GBR); Michelle Dillon (GBR); Samantha Warriner (NZL), who won on this course last year; rising talent Debbie Tanner (NZL), who posted the fastest run split in Mooloolaba; and the large Japanese contingent.
The Japanese athletes have always performed well on their home turf and will be looking for their share of the US$80,000 prize purse. Reigning silver and bronze medallists, Kiyomi Niwata (JPN) and Akiko Sekine (JPN), respectively, are planning to give the crowd something to cheer about on the scenic but challenging course.
China is again sending a strong team with Lin Xing eager to move closer to a podium spot.
On the men’s side, 2005 winner Courtney Atkinson (AUS) hopes to repeat and take first prize but will have a red hot Bevan Docherty (NZL), fresh off a win at the recent ITU Mooloolaba World Cup, close on his heels. Docherty will be looking for the win, and with that, the top of the World Cup rankings. A place he has not been since early 2004.
Hunter Kemper (USA) is looking to hit his 2005 form this weekend and improve on his second place here a year ago. Former world number one, Dmitriy Gaag (KAZ) is on the start list after taking a brief hiatus from World Cup racing in 2005, competing in only one ITU World Cup, which he won. Others to watch are Kris Gemmell (NZL), Mark Fretta (USA) and Daniil Sapunov (KAZ).
The Ishigaki triathlon began as a means to attract tourism to the small city of 40,000 people 16 years ago. This weekend a person will be hard-pressed to find a vacant room in any of the local hotels. Ishigaki has turned into a tourist destination for people from all over South East Asia with an abundance of snorkeling and scuba diving.
Find more details about this event - 2006 Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup