Balkans Triathlon Championships draw biggest field ever
Irena Chuckanova (photo-top), member of the Sofia Balkans Triathlon Championships Production Team and ETU Executive Board member writes: Race conditions were very good with sunny weather, no wind,and temperature 28 - 30 C; The water temperature was 15 C so wetsuits were mandatory. Despite the cold water there was not a single triathlete who did not start.
The juniors started at 2:00 p.m. In the junior men’s event Nayden Tsankov (BUL), winner of the Erdek race in June led the field up to the last 300m when he was passed by Vasilios Kanoutas (GRE). 3rd after a fall in the last lap on the cycling course was Stoyan Zaykov (BUL).
In the female junior race Ericeti Margari (GRE) led from start to finish and won the title in the Balkan Championships. 2nd and 3rd were Ipek Onaran and Bahar Saygili from Turkey.
On the pontoon at 3,30 p.m. shoulder to shoulder stood Andrey Glushchenko (UKR) and Igor Sysoev (RUS) - 2 athletes, who we will see in Athens in one month. Right beside them started Nicolas Becker (FRA), Volodymir Tutbayivskyy (UKR), Dejan Patrcevic (CRO), Atanas Zlatkov (BUL). First from the water after 2 laps of 750 m each was Zlatkov (BUL). A pack of 9 athletes raced shoulder to shoulder over the 7 lap very technical bike course. First onto the run course was Nicolas Becker (FRA) followed by Igor Sysoev (RUS) and Andrey Glushchenko (UKR). Soon it was obvious that either Becker or Sysoev would win, but till the last 5 meters they were running together. Sysoev (RUS) won the gold crossing the finish line just a second before Becker. 3rd was Glushchenko (UKR). In the Balkan Championships the title was won by Atanas Zlatkov (BUL) thus returning the title to Bulgaria after 7 years.
The women’s race was won by the promising young Ukrainian triathlete Anastasia Yatsenko. 2nd - Svetlana Brkic (SCG), who won the Balkan title; 3rd - Daniela Kamburova (BUL).
To summarize, the Balkan Peninsula and Eastern Europe federations are looking forward to the future. The emphasis is on the young athletes and the hard work which has to be done so athletes for these countries can compete in Beijing in 2008.