By Fergus Murray on 22/03/10 at 7:32 pm
2009 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup champion Courtney Atkinson is in doubt for this weekend’s race as he battles to overcome a stomach bug that struck him down and hampered his preparation.
“If the Mooloolaba Triathlon was raced today (Monday) I would not be able to attempt to defend the title I won last year. I will make a final call closer to the race about my health and if I’m up to competing,” said Atkinson.
Earlier last week he was struck down with what seemed to be some type of stomach virus and the effects have dragged on for over a week leaving Atkinson unable to train anywhere near an acceptable level to prepare for a two hour race.
“I am very frustrated as the defence of my title last year was a high priority for me in 2010 and my pre-season training has shown some very promising signs. If I am able to get to the start line this weekend, obviously my goals will be completely reassessed and the focus will be simply to get a race under my belt over the Olympic distance in preparation for the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship opening round in Sydney two weeks later.”
The fact that the 29-year-old is even contemplating racing in his condition is not one he takes lightly.
“I will be doing everything to try and get myself on the start line as I see it very important to get a longer race done in preparation for the coming World Championship series.
Due to the reduction in longer distance races over the Australian domestic season in the past few months the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup provides Atkinson his last opportunity to race over the Olympic distance. With the potential absence of Atkinson on the start line or at least underdone, a clash between Australia’s Brad Kahlefeldt and Spain’s Javier Gomez is looming.
The elite men’s race gets underway on Saturday, 27 March at 3pm. Follow the race on triathlon.org via live timing or via twitter updates @ituonline.
Find more details about this event - 2010 Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup