Australia’s Gold Coast enjoys its first event of the ITU Triathlon World Championship week with the annual ITU Aquathlon World Championships.
Held over a 2.5km run, 1000m swim and a further 2.5km run, the aquathlon will take the elites athletes only around half an hour to complete the course. With fast and furious racing individual disciplines transitions will be a vital component if the aquathletes are to be successful. With junior, under 23, elite and age group championships all being held the first medals of the intensive week of competition will be awarded.
The women’s race brings together an all star cast, including 2008 ITU World Cup champion, Samantha Warriner from New Zealand. The Kiwi has suffered with terrible bad luck throughout 2009, including being hit by a car whilst training on the cycle and being stung by a stingray in California the day before a long distance race. The aquathlon will be Warriner’s first race since the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup which took place in June.
2004 Olympian Maxine Seear will be looking to draw on home support as she takes to action just an hour away from her residence in Brisbane. The experienced Aussie showed good swim form at the Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup earlier in the year and should pose a real threat. Kerry Lang from Great Britain is another outsider who should go well. A renowned front pack swimmer the Scotswoman is also known for impressive cycling skills, so should she be able to transfer that power across the running, could be a podium contender.
Lisa Mensink from the Netherlands arrived from triathlon from a competitive swim background and has developed well, competing for Canada before switching nationalities. With a seventeenth place finish from the Kitzbühel Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series to her name, she will be one to watch out for.
On the men’s side attention turns to double silver medallist Antonio Mansur from Brazil. The South American finished runner-up in both 2008 and 2007 when the Mexican towns of Monterrey and Ixtapa hosted the championships, and will be looking to go one better in Gold Coast.
He is joined on the start line by compatriot Wesley Matos, a promising youngster, as well as Jamie Rhodes from Australia and Matija Lukina from Croatia. Steve Worthington from Great Britain could be a name to look out for, the training partner of number one ranked triathlete Alistair Brownlee will be looking to follow in his friend’s footsteps to the top of the podium.
Racing gets underway from 03:00 GMT, 13:00 local time on Gold Coast.