ITU announces 2011 Athlete and Coach Scholarships

ITU announces 2011 Athlete and Coach Scholarships

By Paula Kim on 11/05/11 at 2:28 am

The International Triathlon Union (ITU), the worldwide governing body for triathlon, today announced recipients of its Athlete and Coaching Scholarships. With the long-term goal of participating at an Olympic Games, ITU Scholarships are awarded annually to athletes and coaches from developing National Federations to assist them in advancing their skills.

Ten athletes from nine developing National Federations have been identified as strong Olympic prospects, including seven for London 2012.  Three promising juniors have been awarded scholarships to support their ongoing long-term development towards Rio 2016.  One coach has also been selected.

2011 ITU Scholarship Recipients:
Elizabeth Bravo (ECU)
Leonardo Chacon (CRC)
Mehdi Essadiq (MAR)
Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero (COL)
Mateja Simic (SLO)
Fabienne St. Louis (MRI)
Jason Wilson (BAR)
Fanny Beisaron (ISR) – Junior
Ron Darmon (ISR) – Junior
Abrahm Louw (NAM) – Junior
Milos Petelin (SLO) – Coach

All ten athletes are 26 years of age or under and nine of the ten nations have never been represented in the triathlon competition at an Olympic Games.  The athletes were selected for their proven performance at ITU events or were identified by coaching staff at ITU Development camps or clinics.  Other considerations included geographic spread, opportunity for new flags at the Olympic Games, gender equity and strong National Federation long-term athlete development plans.

This past weekend, Carlos Quinchara finished ninth at the Monterrey ITU Triathlon World Cup, a career-best result for the young Colombian in an international ITU race.  Other notables among the group of scholarship recipients are Israel’s Fanny Beisaron who won gold in the Team Triathlon competition at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games and Costa Rican star Leonardo Chacon. He has won four Pan American Cups and finished fifth at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio.

Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC Member, said:
“The International Triathlon Union is committed to developing triathlon worldwide and initiatives like these scholarships help promising athletes further their skills so that we might see them on the start line of World Championships and Olympic Games.”

Libby Burrell, Director of ITU Development, said:
“Over the past five years, these athletes have attended one or more ITU Development opportunities and have been identified as having the commitment and potential to develop their skills under careful guidance of their coaches with the ultimate goal of representing their countries at the Olympic Games. The ITU is happy to be able to provide the support and guidance the athletes need to pursue this goal.”

The ITU Athlete and Coaching Scholarships is one of the key programmes in ITU Development.  Other programmes include the Team ITU Elite Athlete Development programme (EADP) and ITU Triathlon Development Camps.
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