Tokyo Times: athletes focus on Olympic qualification event

by Doug Gray on 13 Aug, 2019 04:07 • Español
Tokyo Times: athletes focus on Olympic qualification event

With the 2019 Tokyo ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event getting underway on Thursday 15 August, the athletes are descending on Tokyo from training camps across Japan and around the world. With humidity levels high, acclimatisation has been the watchword, but just as important for those athletes seeking to qualify for Tokyo 2020 this week is keeping fresh for what will be a taxing race. For those already qualified, the chance to check out the course with less pressure will be invaluable. Here’s what some of them had to say as they arrived in Tokyo.

Katie Zaferes (USA)
“I’ve been preparing for a really tough race, the conditions will be challenging, but I feel that I have prepared well. I’ve gotten in a good training block, been at altitude and also incorporated heat training. I’m excited to get this opportunity to race on the Olympic course, in similar conditions and timing to next year’s scheduling for the Olympics. This will be a first opportunity for me to earn a spot on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team and I’m looking forward to doing my best to achieve that.”

Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
“The Tokyo 2020 Test Event is my main aim of the year and preparations have gone really well. Obviously, I didn’t have a lot of luck at the start of the season but, touch wood, it’s turning now. My training has gone really well the last few months and during our camp in Miyazaki, I’ve trained well in the hot conditions. I’ve had some hard sessions over here and I’m looking forward to trying out the course and the conditions to hopefully help for next year and I hope to have a good race.”

Vicky Holland (GBR)
“Training has been going well over in Miyazaki - I had a good training block before I arrived here and spent a month in St Moritz. I really enjoy altitude training and feel like it has moved me on from where I was earlier in the season. A big result in Tokyo would mean a podium finish for me so that I hit the qualifying criteria for next year. That’s what I have been focused on all year and it’s been great getting used to the conditions in Miyazaki and hopefully it’ll help next week.”

Flora Duffy (BER)
“I’m just happy to be here - for a long time I didn’t think i’d be back racing this year and even six weeks ago it was touch and go but luckily things turned a corner. There’s no pressure on me so I just want to get my feet wet, get back racing, finish, experience the course and check everything out in preparation for next year. 
It takes a long time to get back to fitness and i’m not sure where my form is at. I’ve been training okay but I don’t know how the race will go and that’s fine, it’s kind of exciting. I’m number 55 on the start so i’m working my way back up and enjoying it, It’s about checking out how the swim is, the exits and entries, corners, the bike course and how I’ll race it, seeing how far I can push it. I think my body will handle the conditions well - this is kind of like Bermuda although the humidity is something different. “

Jelle Geens (BEL)
We arrived Monday evening from Flagstaff in the US so i’m waking up early and that fits in with the race schedule and works with the jet lag. We came from altitude in Arizona where it was a drier heat than this but we had a special tent our coaches built and we are well prepared. As soon as we landed you could feel that humidity but i’m good with that and raced well at the Grand Final in Cozumel in similar conditions. The Belgian qualification criteria means both Marten van Riel and I and Claire Michel have qualified, so we are here just to race on the course and get know what to expect next year, it is a race to pace and control yourself to see how the race develops.”

Hayden Wilde
We’ve been training in Sakata which was beautiful, much like New Zealand with the mountains along the coast. Im just looking to test the course out, make sure I don’t go too early to the red line if i’m a bit behind out of the water and at the end of the day its about consistency over the run and being conservative – you have to watch the heart rate so it might be the first time I wear a watch to monitor that heart rate and get some data for next year if I do get in the team next year. I had good races in Hamburg and Edmonton and I’ve had probably the best training of my life in Vancouver and now im feeling super fresh for the build-up to Friday and hope I get picked for the Mixed Relay on Sunday too. We might be trying a few things out in the relay but we’ll see what happens.”

Vittoria Lopes 
I arrived two weeks ago and have been training in Shiba with Ai Ueda and the Brazil team and it was amazing. The start list is so strong so it will be a great race, we as a team are looking for points. I want to get in that front pack from the start and I’m not such a fan of the warm water swim but I’ve been training well, so and I’m excited to race again at this level.”

For the start lists, click here.

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Related Event: 2019 Tokyo ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event
15 - 16 Aug, 2019 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Tyler Mislawchuk CAN 01:49:51
2. Casper Stornes NOR 01:49:55
3. Hayden Wilde NZL 01:50:03
4. Gustav Iden NOR 01:50:25
5. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 01:50:28
Results: Elite Women
1. Flora Duffy BER 01:40:19
2. Alice Betto ITA 01:40:54
3. Vicky Holland GBR 01:41:11
4. Vittoria Lopes BRA 01:41:21
5. Summer Rappaport USA 01:41:25
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