By ITU Admin on 18/08/09 at 12:00 am
With just three weeks to go until the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Grand Final on Australia’s Gold Coast, the host nation’s best athletes are not having it all their own way with a mixture of illness and injury affecting the team’s preparations.
Women’s rankings leader, Emma Moffatt, has been in imperious form this year, winning three legs of the series in Washington DC, Kitzbühel and Hamburg and finishing second to Emma Snowsill in Tongyeong. Despite being on the startlist for London, Moffatt was forced to pull out with plantar fasciitis, a painful inflammation of the muscle which runs under the heel of the foot. It is unknown how the injury will affect her preparations for the Grand Final, and she could come under serious pressure should her main rivals score highly in Yokohama this weekend.
Brad Kahlefeldt is the latest injury worry for the Aussies having badly hurt his foot during second transition at the London leg of the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series last weekend. The Commonwealth champion caught his foot in the front wheel of a rival’s bike and badly cut his toes on the spokes. Having hobbled for several metres Kahlefeldt was forced to drop his bike and collapse against the side boarding before being treated by medical staff at the scene. It is understood that he underwent minor surgery to repair the damage, but that no bones or tendons were harmed.
Courtney Atkinson find himself on the recovery route having gone down with a stomach problem after the race in Kitzbühel which forced him out of Hamburg. A seventh place finish in London will give him high hopes of being back to his best for the Gold Coast having being hospitalised just weeks before.
Olympic champion Emma Snowsill missed her third consecutive Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship race in London having undergone hip surgery following the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup in Des Moines, Iowa. The Aussie star cannot win the series title in the Gold Coast, but is expected to be one of the main contenders for the race victory.
Another Australian Olympian to suffer in 2009 is Erin Densham. The 2006 ITU Triathlon under 23 world champion is coming back from the debilitating Epstein Barr virus, but finished just off the podium in Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup with fourth.
As the series heads to Yokohama in Japan many of the Australian athletes will be leaving their base in Europe to return to home to prepare for the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Grand Final. Quite whether they are all in their best form for the races in three weeks remains to be seen.