By Nicola Hargreaves on 08/09/11 at 3:25 pm
Returning to the 2008 Beijing Olympic course brings back memories at the official pre-race press conference for the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final Beijing.
Defending world champions Emma Moffatt (AUS) and Javier Gomez (ESP) along with current series leaders Helen Jenkins (GBR) and Alistair Brownlee (GBR) as well as China’s top triathlete, Beijing Olympian Zhang Yi were all on hand to answer questions from the media.
The president of the International Triathlon Union and member of the IOC, Marisol Casado and Deputy Director of Beijing Sports Competitive Centre Hai Zhenwen also presented at the press conference.
On returning to Beijing:
“I have great memories of Beijing and the Olympics, so I’d love to leave this weekend with more great memories. I haven’t had the best season, but I’ve been feeling pretty good the last few weeks in training, so I would be really happy to leave Beijing with a good result.”
On returning to Beijing:
“I feel good to come back to Beijing, this is my fourth time. I have really good memories from 2006 and 2007 and also good ones from 2008 at the Games. It’s a course that I like it’s a good place to do triathlon and I’m looking forward to the race and giving my best.”
On regaining his position as number one in the world:
“Yes I have a lot of confidence to try, I know that is not easy but I will go out there and give my best. I was world champion last year and even though the time following the Olympic Games wasn’t great for me I think I overcame that. I’ve been training and doing my best in races so let’s see how Saturday goes
On whether Alistair Brownlee is his strongest competitor:
“If you see the results over the last couple of years I would say so, I think Alistair and his brother Jonathon are showing a really good level so right now they are the ones to beat for all the other athletes. But you never know in a one day race anything can happen and there are many talented athletes so you cannot just worry about one or two and just try to be better than all the others and that’s not easy.”
On differences between the 2012 London Olympic course and the 2008 Beijing Olympic course:
“The two courses are very different. This course in Beijing is good for all round strong athletes, you need to be good at all three disciplines. Whereas the course in London this year for the women was a lot about the run, but then in the men Alistair made a breakaway on the bike, so you do have to be strong for both events. I’m not sure which one I prefer, I like both.”
On leading the series by 200 points:
“I’m not sure if I can win my second world championship title, there are a lot of good girls here, but I’m going to try my best. This is a really good course with a good hill on the bike. I didn’t race so well at Beijing in the Olympics, so I’d like to have a good race to put that to rest.”
On whether Beijing’s course suits him:
“I think it’s a great course here in Beijing. I raced here three years ago when I felt a lot younger, so the course looks a lot smaller now, but it’s good to be back. I think the conditions may be a little different this time round and it is a hard course that I think suits you if you’re fit and having a good day.”
On competing on home soil:
“It is a great honour to take part in this event and I am also feeling confident racing in my home country. I feel a little disappointed that I did not do my best in the Beijing Olympics, so I hope that I can perform to the best of my ability here.”
Marisol Casado, ITU President
“We are delighted to come back to the Olympic site and we are all very emotional because it is a fantastic venue and it is still as good three years later. I think this legacy is very, very important. I would like to thank the local organising committee and CTSA (China Triathlon Sports Association) for not only preparing a wonderful event, but also our annual general assembly.”
The 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final Beijing elite men’s race starts at 12:35 on Saturday September 10 and the women’s begins at 13:35 on Sunday September 11.
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