By ITU Admin on 08/05/08 at 12:00 am
Today in Lisbon, the pre-race press conference was held for the ETU Triathlon European Championships. Four top contenders were in attendance, including home favorite and four-time defending champion, Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal. The reigning world champion spoke about how much she values the opportunity to race in front of friends and family.
“It is very important for me to win at home. It would be my fifth title in row but it would be as important as the first one. My main motivation is running at home and doing my best, said Fernandes.
Swede Lisa Norden has emerged from a promising star to legit medal contender every week. The Team BG member has made the podium in her first two world cups, the highly competitive fields at Mooloolaba and New Plymouth. Despite new found confidence and fitness, Norden knows toppling Fernandes in her home country will be a tall order.
“I would like to do a good race. I have a very high motivation. I think it is going to be very hard to win Vanessa but I will try, said Norden.
Also at the press conference was Spains top triathlete, Javier Gomez. Last year he broke through to win her first European title, joining his friend and teammate Ivan Rana as the only Spanish man to be crowned European champion. This weekends race in Lisbon will be the first of many important races for the Spanish star, who will also race the Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup, the historic 200th world cup event in ITUs history. Today Gomez acknowledged the tough field he will be up against on Saturday.
“Of course I would like to win the European Championship, the World Championship and the Olympic Games. But my main goal this season is to get medal at the Olympics. Last year I did one of my best races here in Lisbon and I would like to repeat it. It is very important to win the European title. I think the most dangerous rivals could be Frederic Belaubre, Rasmus Henning, Filip Ospaly, Ivan Rana and some of the Germans, said Gomez.
Portuguese hopes in the mens race will likely be carried by Bruno Pais. At last years European Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, Pais finished tenth. The year before in Autun, France, he was sixth.
“My main goal is to try to be in the first 5 places. We should try not to permit adventures in the cycling segment, we have to maintain our eyes opened. I think running is going to decide the race, said Pais.
Find more details about this event - 2008 Lisbon ETU Triathlon European Championships