By ITU Admin on 07/06/08 at 12:00 am
Watch some of triathlons biggest stars who came out to the official pre-race press conference for the 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships. Defending world champion Vanessa Fernandes and Spains Javier Gomez, last years silver medalist, joined Canadians Simon Whitfield, Lauren Groves, Kathy Tremblay and Paul Tichelaar to talk about Sundays world championship race. The athletes not only spoke about what the event means to them but also how the cold temperatures will affect the outcome of the races.
Ive been racing in cold places all the time. I hope its a nice day but if it rains, it will be the same for everyone, said Gomez. Im training and thinking for the Olympic Games but of course this is a world championship and Im so motivated. Ive never won this so I will try to give my best on Sunday and well see what happens.
I think the big (opponent) for Sunday wont be the athletes but the weather. I dont like to compete in cold but I have to do everything for it to be good because it will equal for everyone so I have to do only my best and respect everything. I will try for another podium but its not easy to get another medal in another year but I will try, said Fernandes, who this year set the ITU all-time record for most world cup wins.
Canadian hopes lie with the countrys golden boy, Simon Whitfield. The Olympic champion from 2000 has never won a world championship, nor a world championship medal. A win here on Sunday would make him the only triathlete to hold both world and Olympic gold medals but he knows it will not be an easy task.
Of course this is a big race that I would love to win but theres a list of guys that goes ten deep that could win this race and I think youre going to see a fantastic and fast race on Sunday to claim that world title, said Whitfield. To be so close to home is definitely an advantage and I dont know theres much pressure involved with that.
Whitfield has already qualified for the Canadian Olympic team and will be joined by Vancouvers own Lauren Groves, the only woman on the team so far. As the only Vancouver native on the elite national team team, Groves is used to the unpredictable weather of the west coast.
You can only focus on yourself and do your best and I think were all looking into different strategies to keep warm on the day if it is raining, like putting on extra layers, taking that extra two seconds to put gloves on, said Groves. We just have to be ready for a cold race and I think the mental approach is often more important or as important as what physically is going on.
For other Canadians, this Sunday is a massive race as their 2008 Olympic dreams will be decided on what happens this weekend. Paul Tichelaar and Kathy Tremblay are both the highest ranked Canadians going into the race but they need top-8 finishes to earn automatic spots on the Canadian Olympic team.
Its my lifes work on the line this weekend, said Tichelaar. This is a big race for me, its the biggest race of my life, the biggest race of the year so theres a lot on the time and I think Ive prepared very well for it so Im looking forward to it.
Like Paul said, this is also the race of my life, said Tremblay. This is almost more important as the Olympics because if you dont make it here, youre not going there. Im more prepared this year than I was last year and I think I developed the training I needed to be prepared here and have all the confidence to meet the (Olympic) criteria. I think we also know its going to be cold temperatures so you just get ready for it. Its Quebec temperature, its Canadian temperatures but Im prepared.
The elite women will start at 1pm on Sunday while the elite men start at 4pm.
International media at the official pre-race press conference for the 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships
In a nice gesture of hospitality, Whitfield presented Gomez with a Team Canada hockey jersey
Find more details about this event - 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships