By Paula Kim on 07/10/10 at 11:10 pm
Seven athletes hailing from seven different countries will be on the start line at the Huatulco World Cup this weekend competing as Team ITU, one of the cornerstone projects in ITU’s Sport Development Elite Athlete Development Programme.
The athletes selected for the team are:
“There’s tremendous talent in this group and we’re extremely excited for the challenge in Huatulco,” said ITU Sport Development Director Libby Burrell. “One of the wonderful aspects of this programme is that the athletes and support team really come together as one cohesive unit at these events and they feed off each other’s energy.”
One of the fundamental goals of Team ITU is provide support, resources and expertise to elite athletes from developing National Federations to compete at the highest level.
Members of Team ITU receive funds for travel and accommodation but perhaps most importantly, athletes have access to a world class coaching and support team. Lead by internationally recognized coach Burrell, the team includes athletic trainer and physiotherapist Teresa Schuemann (USA), bike mechanic Jeff Donaldson (USA) and assistant coach Flabio Carmona (CUB).
“Being part of this team really makes me feel confident about the race,” said Stojanovic, who will be racing in just his second World Cup this year. “I’m the only elite athlete from Serbia and I’m usually training alone but coming here and having this team behind me, it’s really an amazing feeling because I only have to focus on the race and not worry about other things.”
Among the women, Sapunova is a serious threat for the podium after breaking through in Hungary two months ago for her first career World Cup win. She has fared well in Mexico, having placed 5th in last year’s event. For the men, Chacon will be the strongest contender amongst Team ITU. He has been competitive in five World Championship Series events this year and placed 10th here in Huatulco last year.
This is the final event of 2010 for Team ITU. Earlier in the season, athletes were selected for the team to compete in the World Cup events in Holten and Tiszaujvaros.
Find more details about this event - 2010 Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup