By ITU Admin on 12/04/07 at 12:00 am
The 2007 BG Triathlon World Cup series continues this Sunday, April 15, in the fishing village turned tourist destination of Ishigaki, Japan. The 12th edition of the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup will host over 150 of the world’s top triathletes from 34 countries as they vie for their share of the valuable Olympic qualifying points and US$100,000 prize money.
The entire 1,500m swim, 40 kilometre bike and 10 kilometre run will take place in the harbour area of Ishigaki with thousands of expected spectators in attendance and a live national television show being broadcast to millions of Japanese households. The crystal clear waters, which boast some of the world’s top scuba diving, and weather conditions, are expected to be calm Sunday afternoon with temperatures reaching 25 degrees Celsius with 100% humidity.
The longest running world cup will see three-time world champion and current number-one ranked Emma Snowsill of Australia as the woman to beat with a win in the world cup season opener just two weeks ago in Mooloolaba, Australia. Snowsill’s stiffest competition will again come from 13-time world cup winner Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal. Historically, however, Snowsill has been able to hold off the young Portuguese star, besting Fernandes in six of their nine meetings.
Also on the start line will be 2006 Ishigaki world cup winner Debbie Tanner of New Zealand along with the ever-strong Kiwi team of Samantha Warriner, who won here in 2005, and Andrea Hewitt, Commonwealth Games bronze medalist. These three women along with developing Under23 athlete Nicky Samuels are always top contenders whenever they race.
Current Under23 world champion Erin Densham of Australia, managed to nab her first world cup podium two weeks ago in Mooloolaba, catching Fernandes in the final metres. Her proven running ability always makes her a threat.
Add the likes of Olympic champion Kate Allen of Austria, 2006 Junior champion, Kirsten Sweetland and multiple world cup winners Rina Hill and Annabel Luxford of Australia, and it is sure to stellar competition when the 72 women hit the water at 1pm local time (GMT+9) on Sunday.
In the men’s event, three-time Ishigaki world cup winner, Courtney Atkinson of Australia, will look to stretch his streak to four. A task he will not find easy as a number of the top men in the world are in attendance this weekend. Atkinson has had good luck in Japan though, with all four of his world cup wins coming on Japanese soil
Current number-one ranked and Mooloolaba world cup winner, Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia, is one of many top athletes looking to end Atkinson’s streak. Another top contender for Sunday is Olympic silver medalist Bevan Docherty of New Zealand. Docherty, who has won on this course before, will have help from team mates Kris Gemmell and Shane Reed, both who have world cup victories under their belt.
Other notables include 2000 Sydney Games gold medalist Simon Whitfield of Canada, who, racing only a handful of world cups since the Athens Olympics, for the first time has a strong Canadian men’s team around him to help return the northern nation to their winning ways.
Simon Thompson of Australia, Bruno Pais of Portugal as well as Matt Reed and Jarrod Shoemaker of the United States are also ones to watch as the men toe the start line at 3:45pm local time (GMT+9) on Sunday
Start of the 2006 Ishigaki Triathlon World Cup
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