By Andrew Dewhurst on 09/05/14 at 8:52 am
The elite athlete press conference at the Chengdu ITU World Cup was held today on the eve of the first ever ITU World Cup to be held at this venue.
The Press Conference was hosted by Ms Zhou Haiyon, Vice Mayor of Jintang County. Also present were Mr Si Yu, Technical Manager of the Triathlon Organising Committee; Ms Fu Min, Director of Publicity of the Jintang County Party Standing Committee.
The pride in the organizing committee and supporting organizations was clearly evident as Ms Fu Min addressed a large media gathering.
“Jintang has become the most potential place for start-up and the most rapid County in Chengdu. It was awarded as the China Habitat Environment Example Prize, National Ecological Demonstration County, National Garden County, the Home of Chinese Calligraphy, the Home of Chinese Dragon Boat and the Home of Sichuan Opera Zuochang.
“Jintang has successfully held Chinse Dragon Boat Open Tournament and ITU Triathlon Intercontinental Cup, Sichuan Youth Chuan Opera Competition, China Chengdu Car Festival and International Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival Jintang Session, which play a positive role in promoting sport industry development and County economic and social development.”
Wian Sullward (SAF) was asked what his impressions are of the host city and venue.
“When I arrived on Wednesday night my first impressions were amazing, it is my first time in China but I thought the venue was amazing. I am staying here in China until Thursday as I prepare for the Yokohama race next week.
“The triathlon venue is absolutely amazing and I have to say well done to the people who have built the venue, I understand it is man-made for triathlon. It is spectacular, cycling around the course is amazing, it has some steep hills and is great, the water is going to be fast and the bike will be fast. I haven’t been on the podium at a World Cup event before but I really hope I can make it the first time tomorrow.”
Lisa Perterer from Austria will wear the number one bib in racing tomorrow and after four World Cup podiums is hoping for a first win, she too was asked about the venue.
“This is my second time in China, I was here two years ago in a different place, I arrived here on Wednesday. I like the city, the hotel is amazing and the venue is amazing too, like Wian I am very impressed with a venue that is built especially for triathlon.
“I think the race will be very very fast, the bike course and the run is all flat and will be fast. My expectations for the race, I was injured for four weeks and last week I started running again so I am fit again and I hope I am on the podium, but we will see.”
In amongst the Chinese competitors is Zhang Yi, competing in a race that is all the more special because she is from Chengdu and understandably is very proud of the facility that will host its first ITU World Cup race on Saturday.
“One year ago to bring a World Cup to Jintang all of the athletes in the Chinese team wrote a letter to the ITU wishing to bring a World Cup here. When I first came here I believed this to be a unique and perfect venue to host a World Cup and it was my hope to host a World Cup race here.
“For me and the athletes we have the best venue, we have a World Cup and I feel this is racing at home so I am cheered up by that. For me though I can learn a lot from all the athletes from all around the world. They have advanced technology and skills and so many things I should learn from them. This is the best for me to learn from them by bringing the athletes here to China, if we can bring more good level events and more athletes, this will promote the sport in China to all of our fans.
“This is the same for the China Triathlon Association to improve our team levels and to be more known by people here in China. To have more and more of these high levels in Jintang, Chengdu or China is a good thing.”
Find more details about this event - 2014 Chengdu ITU Triathlon World Cup