By ITU Admin on 15/06/09 at 12:01 am
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2009 Washington Preview - Men
The top four men from last year’s Beijing Olympic Games are in Washington, DC this weekend to do battle once again. Their incredible sprint finish encapsulated the excitement and ferocity of triathlon on the world stage, and this year’s inaugural Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series has kept the ball rolling with some intense action.
Olympic champion Jan Frodeno from Germany ran well in the series’ second leg to finish tenth having spent the cycle portion in the chase pack. Beijing silver medallist, Canada’s Simon Whitfield, started his season with a disappointing 14th at the opening leg in Tongyeong, Korea, and will want to make amends in the US Capital whilst Bevan Docherty from New Zealand, who took bronze in Beijing and won the opening leg in Tongyeong, looks for his second victory. Another first place finish would put him in pole position before the athletes head to Europe for three races in the summer.
The man who finished just outside the medals at the Olympic Games was Spain’s Javier Gomez, who enjoyed an otherwise flawless 2008. Having come back from an ankle injury, Gomez was off form in Madrid but still battled through for a bronze medal. With another few weeks of training in his legs he will be one to watch.
Madrid winner Alistair Brownlee, the former under 23 and junior world champion from Great Britain, put together a flawless race in the Spanish capital to send tremors through the triathlon world. A similarly stunning run performance in Washington would give him back to back victories. He will toe the line alongside team mates Will Clarke, the British national champion, and 2006 World Champion Tim Don.
Brad Kahlefeldt has returned to a great run of form following a year scuppered by injury. Having narrowly missed out on the win in Tongyeong the Aussie ran through to a ninth place finish in Madrid, keeping him firmly in the hunt for overall honours.
The Russian team have made an impressive start to their year and Dimitry Polyansky has headed their attack on the triathlon world. He currently heads the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Rankings following the first two rounds and another strong performance could see him hang on to his title lead.
Home support will focus on the US athletes who include the speedy Jarrod Shoemaker and Beijing Olympic Games seventh place finisher Hunter Kemper. Matt Reed has enjoyed some promising results in non-drafting racing so far this year but is yet to convert his success to ITU racing in 2009. Washington will also mark the welcome return of Andy Potts who focussed on long distance racing after failing to make the US Olympic team.
Aside from Frodeno the Germans welcome Daniel Unger, the 2007 World Champion back into their team alongside Stefan Justus who had an impressive fifth place finish in Tongyeong. Frenchman Laurent Vidal will start motivated as the newly crowned French national champion whilst Africa’s best shot at a medal, Hendrik De Villiers, makes his season debut.
Find more details about this event - 2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Washington, DC