Exclusive Feature: Rise of Japanese Triathletes
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This week’s featured video showcases three of Japan’s rising triathlon stars. As the sport continues to grow rapidly throughout the region we’re seeing more and more Japanese athletes nab podium finishes on the World Cup circuit, and that trend is likely to continue thanks to the likes of Juri Ide, Kiyomi Niwata and Hirokatsu Tayama.
Niwata, 39, has been Japan’s premier female triathlete for over a decade and represented Japan in two Olympic Games, placing 14th at both Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004). While Niwata remains the country’s most decorated triathlete, it appears that torch will soon be passed to 26-year-old Juri Ide, who finished 5th at the 2008 Olympic Triathlon in Beijing. Ide finished 7th in the points standings for the inaugural Dextro Energy World Championship Series last season and will no doubt look to jump up a few spots in 2010.
On the men’s side there’s no bigger name in Japan than 28-year-old Hirokatsu Tayama, who became the first Japanese male to win a World Cup at the 2007 Eilat World Cup in Israel. Tayama will look to take advantage of the friendly crowd and grab that second World Cup win when the series heads to Ishigaki, Japan on April 25.