By Masa Takaya on 07/05/11 at 12:06 am
Two days before the elite women’s and men’s races at the Monterrey ITU Triathlon World Cup, four athletes met the media at the event’s official pre-race press conference. In attendance were Bevan Docherty (NZL), two-time Olympic medallist and 2004 ITU World Champion and Ai Ueda (JPN), who was runner-up in Monterrey last year and claimed both her World Cup titles in Huatulco, Mexico.
Also attending representing the home team were Mexican stars Melody Ramirez and Francisco Serrano. This Sunday’s race is a qualifying event for Mexican athletes to compete in the Pan American Games, set to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in October later this year.
A lot of discussion swirled around the battle for precious Olympic qualifying points in this crucial pre-Olympic year, as well as the hot conditions in Monterrey where the forecast is for temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday.
Bevan Docherty (NZL)
“Originally I had intended on racing in Yokohama in Japan, but unfortunately the race was postponed. So I guess I was fortune enough to be able to make start list to race here in Monterrey. It’s certainly handy having the flexibility of being able to race and certainly having Monterrey so close, it’s certainly a very good back-up option. Certainly for New Zealand and I think it’s a case for lot of countries, gaining Olympic qualifying points is very important so I think everybody has to pretty much battle in every race they are. It’s great to be here and get some valuable points for my country hopefully qualify for the next Olympic Games in London and get another medal, hopefully this time gold. I look forward to the race on the weekend.”
Ai Ueda (JPN)
“It’s my second time in Monterrey. Mexico is good for me because I like heat and humid weather. I was having a training camp in Zacatecas. I want to get a podium again. This heat, I think this is similar to Japan’s summer. So if I can stay in the first pack toward the end, I believe I can have a chance to snatch the top of the podium.”
Melody Ramirez (MEX)
“I am very happy to be here and confident to race on this Sunday. I am here to be qualified for the Pan American Games for my second time. I live in a hot region, so the heat weather is not my concern. It would rather make me happy. I am going to do my very best for my nation to add some Olympic qualification points and to secure the slot of the Pan-American Games for myself.”
Francisco Serrano (MEX)
“I am very happy to have this event here in my hometown Monterrey. It makes me very proud that Mexico has two World Cups. Olympic qualification points that I could get is very important, so is to be qualified for the Pan American Games. Having the World Cup in Monterrey is a big opportunity to compete in world-class levels, particularly against Olympic medallists. This is my hometown, so I have encouraged people in Monterrey to see the world-class event to cheer all the athletes. As I am familiar with this weather, so I just want all the athletes to be prepared for it.”
Photo: Jay Prasuhn / Lava Magazine
Find more details about this event - 2011 Monterrey ITU Triathlon World Cup