By ITU Admin on 21/07/05 at 12:00 am
A star studded list of athletes are ready to compete in the Edmonton ITU Triathlon World Cup which takes place this Saturday in Hawrelak Park.
The course, which was the same one used for the 2001 ITU Triathlon World Championships, features a 2 lap swim, followed by a 6 lap bike and a 3 lap run. The temporary Triathlon Stadium is ideally designed to maximise the viewing opportunities for spectators and media.
World Ranked #1, Annabel Luxford leads a strong Australian womens team, that includes the 2003 ITU Triathlon World Champion Emma Snowsill, who won the Honolulu ITU World Cup earlier this year. Maxine Seear, who was part of Australias Olympic team in Athens is also in Edmonton, making her first appearance on the 2005 World Cup circuit since a string of injuries have kept her out of competition.
Kiyomi Niwata of Japan, ranked #2 in the world, and who was third in last weekends World Cup event in Corner Brook, has improved her cycling skills enormously and is feeling very confident about her chances with the six climbs up the challenging Emily Murphy Hill.
Canadas Gillian Kornell, who was second at last weekends World Cup in Corner Brook, leads a talented, young team that will be the darlings of the home-country crowd of many thousands expected to line the course and fill the triathlon stadium. Kornells team-mates include Lauren Groves and Carolyn Murray, who both cracked the top 10 in Corner Brook last week, could also be top contenders.
Other women to watch are Mariana Ohata of Brazil who has a number of World Cup podiums to her credits, Mirinda Carfrae of Australia, who if she has a good swim could be a serious threat on the bike and run, and Barb Lindquist of the USA, who won this event in 2002 and 2003, and dominated the World Ranking up until recently.
On the mens side, Triathlons two Olympic Champions, Simon Whitfield of Canada and Hamish Carter of New Zealand are a big draw for the local media and spectators. It will not be a walk in the park for the two champions, as both the USA and Australia have pulled out their top ranked athletes for the event.
All four of the USAs athletes in the top 10 of the World Rankings are in town for the event, including World #1 Hunter Kemper, #4 Victor Plata (who was 2nd at last weeks Corner Brook event), #6 Matt Reed and #10 Joe Umphenour.
Other men to watch are Marko Albert from Estonia and Cedric Deanaz from France, who should be up to the challenge of the difficult bike section that features a steep, technical hill on each of the 6 laps. Torrenzo Bozzone of New Zealand, the 2 times World Junior Champion, has also been working his way up the World Rankings and is looking for a big break-through in Edmonton.
The ITU primes, a popular addition to this years World Cup events will be offered for the 1st to start the second lap on the swim, the 1st through lap 2 of the bike and the first through lap 5 of the bike. Prime lines on the bike will be positioned directly in front of the stadium spectators to increase the intensity and interest of the event.
The weather, which is a big topic of conversation after the 2004 mens event here was cancelled due to a horrific hail storm, promises to be much gentler this year with air temperatures in the mid 20s and a 40% possibility of precipitation.
Live coverage from Edmonton on www.triathlon.org will start at 1:00 p.m. local time with the start of the womens event and continuing through to 5:00 p.m. with the podium presentations. Live coverage includes a top 10 leader-board, a live photo gallery of the action, text updates, complete results with splits and live audio featuring the voices of triathlon, Jackie Gallagher and Barrie Shepley.
Following the event, ITUtv will produce a 52 minute television show that will be seen in over 70 countries worldwide with a potential household reach of over 1 billion.
Find more details about this event - 2005 Edmonton ITU Triathlon World Cup