2009 Perth Long Distance World Championships Preview

2009 Perth Long Distance World Championships Preview

By Stephen Bourdeau on 22/10/09 at 10:15 pm

This weekend the coastal city of Perth in Western Australia hosts the 2009 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships and with it many of the sport’s top long distance elite. The long distance world championships is set over double the Olympic distance - 3-kilometre swim, 80-kilometre bike and 20-kilometre run.

UPDATE:  Race favourite Craig Alexander of Australia has withdrawn from the race.

Headlining the men’s race will be two-time defending champion Julien Loy of France along with his strong teammate and last year’s runner up Francois Chabaud.  Other long course stars lining up in Perth are New Zealand’s Kieran Doe and Australia’s duo of Simon Thompson and 2006 duathlon champion Leon Griffin.

The main contenders testing their long course legs this weekend will be Belgium powerhouse Axel Zeebroek, Timothy O’Donnell of the United States and 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Jan Rehula of Czech Republic. 

In the women’s event the title is up for grabs as reigning champion Chrissie Wellington in not scheduled to race.  Former ITU world champion over the Olympic distance, Leanda Cave and swim-bike extraordinaire Jodie Swallow will be the ones to fly the British flag in Perth.  However the host nation Australia will have strong challengers in Pip Taylor and Rebekah Keat.

Perth has a strong history of hosting ITU events and world championships, playing home to the 1997 and 2000 ITU Triathlon World Championships.  In both cases Australians have owned the podium taking eight of a possible 12 medals, including three gold.  This year the course features a flat and fast profile and is sure to host some quick times over the double Olympic distance.

Full start lists are available here.

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