By ITU Admin on 14/10/06 at 12:00 am
Which is the strongest triathlon nation? A hotly contested question, but we are set to find out next week in Cancun, Mexico which is to host only the second ITU Team Triathlon World Championships ever. The elite event, which will be held on Wednesday, 1 November - fours days before the Cancun BG triathlon World Cup will feature all the powerhouse nations of triathlon going head to head in the fast and furious race, that enthralled spectators and athletes alike in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary in 2003.
At that time there was no doubt that Australia was the greatest triathlon nation winning both the womens and mens titles. However, this year it will not be so easy for the Australian contingent who is sure to face stiff competition from a whole host of nations wanting to prove they are now on top.
After the French domination in Beijing and the meteoric rise of Javier Gomez in the already strong Spanish camp, the Australian men are sure to be pushed to the limit.
Of course, Great Britain after their clean sweep of the mens World Championships in Lausanne taking all 3 gold medals in the Junior, U23 and Elite events are hotly tipped to challenge for that gold medal. New Zealand with Olympic silver medallist Bevan Docherty can never be counted out. Whatever happens its sure to be a fast and furious Team Championships.
In the womens event, all eyes will be on the Australian team who have been so dominant in recent years and it will be difficult for anybody to match the depth of talent that the Aussie camp has in reserve. New Zealand, with their ever emerging young talent, and the very strong German women look like the main challengers to battle for the podium. But in this super sprint race, it is all about speed, grit and team spirit.
The format is a team relay with each of the 3 team members doing a super sprint triathlon (250 m swim, 6.6km cycle and 1.6km run each) before handing off to their team mate. The first team to complete the 3 x super sprint will win the coveted world title.
Not only is national pride at stake here but there is a prize purse of $50,000us which will be awarded to the top 3 teams equally to men and women.
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Find more details about this event - 2006 Cancun ITU Elite Team Triathlon World Championships