Asian Championships Preview
This weekend Guanzhou, China will host the 2008 ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships on Saturday, May 3rd. The 2008 championships hold coveted automatic Olympic qualification spots for the countries of the first man and woman across the line as well as the prestige of being named continental champion.
Heading the men’s start list is reigning Asian champion Daniil Sapunov of Kazakhstan. But Sapunov will have stiff competition in his team mate, multi world cup winner, Asian Games gold medalist and former continental and world champion, Dmitriy Gaag. The 15-year veteran Gaag has raced in every world cup thus far in 2008, posting impressive results, in a successful attempt to gain enough points to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
The Kazak duo’s greatest threat comes from 2007 Eilat BG Triathlon World Cup winner Hirokatsu Tayama of Japan, who bested both Sapunov and Gaag at the recent Ishigaki world cup.
In the women’s race expect to see a heated battle between Japan and China as both nations field large and deep teams. Both are using Olympic motivation to excel this weekend. If a Japanese woman wins the event, that woman will automatically earn a place on their 2008 Beijing Olympic team, while a win by any Chinese woman besides Lin Xing, will give China a shot at qualifying a third woman for their 2008 Olympic team.
The weekend’s events will also include Under23 and Junior competitions as they too race for the Asian titles.
2008 Guanzhou ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships
Saturday, 2nd-3rd May 2008