Men's Triathlon Olympic Preview

by World Triathlon Admin on 18 Aug, 2008 12:00

The gloves are off and the battle for Olympic glory is about to begin in the men’s triathlon competition at 10am on Tuesday.  A number of major contenders will battle the tough Olympic course and the 55-man field in a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run.  World number one Javier Gomez (ESP) has largely been touted as the gold medal favourite, especially when he scorched the course at last year’s Beijing world cup.

“After the swim we’ll see where I am and where are the others.  I know I have to run really really fast if I want to win because everybody will be in very good shape and it’s going to be so difficult.  I did my best training sessions in the last two weeks so I’m happy with my performance lately,” said Gomez.

But he has the target on his back and a loaded field of strong contenders will have an eye on him at all times.  Athens silver medalist Bevan Docherty (NZL) will surely challenge for gold.  He was a silver medalist at this year’s world championships behind Gomez and took bronze at the Beijing world cup last year.  Docherty makes regular podium appearances in big races but is known for often taking silver.  Frederic Belaubre (FRA) hasn’t had a stellar year but was victorious at the European championships in May.  The Beijing course sets up perfectly for Belaubre who won the Beijing world cup in 2006.

Sydney gold medallist Simon Whitfield (CAN) will race in his third Olympic Games.  He’ll look to use his incredible run speed and new found swimming prowess to get back on the Olympic podium.  Other strong runners to watch for are Tim Don (GBR), the 2006 world champion, Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) and Kris Gemmell (NZL).  But Kahlefeldt was nursing a hip injury earlier this year that forced him to miss the world championships.  He rebounded to take silver behind Gomez at a world cup in Hungary.  Not to be counted out is Courtney Atkinson (AUS) who finished second to Gomez at the Beijing world cup last year.

Others to watch is Alistair Brownlee (GBR), the 2006 junior world champion and 2008 under23 world champion, Matt Reed (USA) who finished fifth at this year’s world championships and the duo of Daniel Unger (GER) and Jan Frodeno (GER).

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