Time ticking to world championships.....
In only two days time, on September 2nd and 3rd, the Olympic City of Lausanne, Switzerland will play host to the 2006 ITU World Triathlon Championships. Close to 3,500 athletes from over fifty countries will gather on the shores of Lake Geneva with many different ages and skill levels showcasing their abilities and passion for the sport of triathlon.
The World Championships are not just the two days mentioned above, but rather a week long festival dedicated to the sport of triathlon and its participants. The championships officially kick off this Saturday, August 26, with the ITU University, Firefighters and Police Triathlon World Championships with competitors representing their country at the Olympic distance triathlon in each of these categories.
We will have full live video and audio coverage of the elite and U23 races on Sunday with over 25 cameras on the course and commentary from Barrie Shepley and Libby Burrell. As always we will also have live timing in real time and text updates.
Live coverage begins at 7.30 am local time with the U23 women and continues at 10.45 am for the elite women, 1:00 pm for the elite men and we round up with the U23 men at 3:45 pm.
Be sure to log onto www.triathlon.org for full LIVE video coverage this weekend.
On the Wednesday night, August 30th, is the 2006 ITU Aquathlon World Championships, with many of the top elite athletes taking the chance to compete in the 750metre swim followed by a 2.5kilometre run to hone their skills for the weekends competition.
The Thursday evening showcases the age group athletes and many of the elite athletes gathering together under their countrys flag to take part in the opening ceremonies and the grand pasta party in the centre of Lausanne, surrounded by historic monuments including the Olympic Museum and the Chateau d’Ouchy.
Saturday, September 2nd is when the action begins as the worlds top Junior athletes compete in the 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and 5 kilometre run sprint race for the Junior World Champion title. Both of last years champions, American Steven Duplinsky and Portugals Anais Moniz will be racing to try and regain their titles and a piece of triathlon history. Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone is the only Junior ever to repeat at the world championships.
After the Junior races will be the age group event with over 2,000 competitors competing in their five year age groups, starting from 20-24 and ending at over 85 years of age. Many of the great elite triathletes of today have come from the age group ranks, including New Zealander Samantha Warriner and ? For many age group athletes it is the pinnacle of their triathlon season or even their career to make it to the world championships and represent their country. Many use the world championships to judge their progress from year to year and many use the race to meet old friends or make new ones.
Sunday is the day for the Elites and Under23s to take centre stage. Both of last years Under23 champions, American Jarrod Shoemaker and Kiwi Andrea Hewitt, have since moved up to the Elite ranks leaving the door wide open for two new champions. Many young talents have shown their potential during the season and it is anyones guess to who will take home the gold on Sunday.
At the climax of the world championship week is the Elite races. Everyone has been waiting all year for the face-off between the two seemingly untouchable women Vanessa Fernandes from Portugal and Emma Snowsill from Australia. Fernandes has gone undefeated in 2006, bringing home four BG Triathlon World Cup titles, making it a consecutive ten world cup wins in a row, and the European Under23 and Elite titles. Snowsill has also not lost in 2006 with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, three world cup wins and a slough of other first place finishes. This battle will surely be one to remember as the two women have not raced each other in an ITU event since the 2005 world championships in Gamagori, Japan, where Snowsill was the victor with her second world championship win.
In the mens race it will be a toss up between a number of strong athletes. Will Aussie Peter Robbo Robertson make it number four? Will his team mate Brad Kahlefeldt top off a dream season after winning Commonwealth gold, Aussie Champs and four world cups? Will a European take home the gold for the first time since 2002? All these questions will be answered in only ten days time.
Attention Age Group Athletes
Saturday continues with the AWAD race away at 08.45 and the first batch of the large Age-Group race of nearly 2,500 athletes taking to the water at 10.00.
This year for the first time, ITU will have exclusive live coverage of not only the elite races but also the age group world championships.
We will be broadcasting live video from the finish line so all the athletes friends and family will have a chance to watch them cross the finish line for the biggest moment in their triathlon year.
Not only that, but we will also have live timing throughout the race so everybody at home can track their progress at world championships, including multiple splits along the course. Times will be live and in real time, so as you cross that finish line, folks at home will know the athletes time before they do.
Be sure to tell everybody you know to log onto www.triathlon.org during the age group world championships on September 2 to watch you compete in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Live coverage for the age group world championships will begin at the following times on September 2nd:
Lausanne - 08:00
Buenos Aires - 03:00
Honolulu - *Friday 1st - 20:00
London - 07:00
Los Angeles - *Friday 1st - 23:00
New York - 02:00
Tokyo - 15:00
Toronto - 02:00
Vancouver - *Friday 1st - 23:00
Also this year we have built a new product that will allow each athlete to easily relive their finish glory once you they get home. Seven days after the world championships, our age group video player will be available so every athlete can watch themselves cross the finish line. This service is absolutely free and will be hosted on www.triathlon.org for all time perfect for bragging rights.
This system is vastly improved from last year and all one will need to do is click on their name and they will be instantly brought to that moment where they crossed the finish line.
Athletes have you watched the course video? Click here to watch the tour now.
Stay tuned to www.triathlon.org for full details.