By Paula Kim on 14/10/10 at 8:45 am
After traveling to seven cities in six countries, the 2010 ITU Triathlon World Cup Series wraps up in Tongyeong, South Korea this weekend. Close to 110 athletes will compete to hopefully set themselves up in good position for the start of 2011. As the Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup is staged after the Grand Final, ranking points will count towards next season.
With Olympic qualifying well under way, the fierce race for one of the coveted spots on the Olympic start line has athletes fighting for every ranking point and every top finish.
But in Tongyeong the toughest battle may be against jetlag. Many athletes are making the long trip from Mexico, not allowing much time for recovery from the long haul to the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.
The elite women will kick off race on day this Saturday as they take to the Tongyeong course. A host of Europeans will challenge for the podium including 3-time Olympian Anja Dittmer, France’s Carole Peon, Holten bronze medallist Radka Vodickova, and Ainhoa Murua of Spain who will wear number one on the start line.
Noticeably absent from Tongyeong is Japan’s strong women’s team but with the Japanese National Championships also this weekend, they opted to stay home to race for the national title.
The home team is well represented with nine women on the start line but making the podium will be a tall order for the young and relatively inexperienced team.
Headlining the wide open men’s field is 2007 World Champion and 2008 Olympian Daniel Unger of Germany, who will look to rebound after a disappointing 22nd place finish in Huatulco on Sunday. Australian Dan Wilson will wear number one on Sunday and will contend for the podium, along with compatriot James Seear who took bronze in Mooloolaba earlier this year.
Russia has a legitimate shot at sweeping the podium as it rolls into Tongyeong with a strong men’s team that includes Yulian Malyshev, Vladimir Turbaevskiy, Ivan Vasiliev and Ivan Tutukin, who won the Holten World Cup earlier this year. France has a pair of former Junior World Champions in Aurelien Raphael and Vincent Luis while Czech Premysl Svarc will look to put together another solid race after a surprising 5th place finish in Huatulco.
The South Korean team fields seven athletes in the men’s field they will certainly look to use the home crowd’s support to their advantage.
This race marks the 5th major ITU event in Tongyeong. Previously the South Korean port city hosted World Cups in 2003, 2004 and 2008 and last year it had the honour of opening the brand new Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. The men’s race will be broadcast live in South Korea on MBS.
Race times (Korea Standard Time UTC/GMT +9)
8am – Elite Women
11am – Elite Men
Find more details about this event - 2010 Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup