Australia’s London-bound dual Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt will make his return to racing in Kitzbuhel, Austria this weekend, just five weeks after being admitted to hospital with pneumonia in San Deigo.
Kahlefeldt will line up in the next round of the ITU Triathlon World Championship Series after staging an extraordinary recovery after it was first thought he had tuberculosis.
After four days in isolation and extensive testing, doctors finally diagnosed the 33-year-old Gold Coaster with atypical pneumonia.
His recovery has been nothing short of amazing and he has surprised the Australian coaching and medical staff with his quick turn around.
Kahlefeldt spent several days recuperating in San Deigo with fellow Queensland triathlete Annabelle Luxford before re-joining the Australian training group in Majorca and then the European training camp in Aix Le Bains, France.
US and Australian medicos were astounded how Kahlefeldt managed to contest the ITU race in San Deigo but he has made a full recovery in the build up to the London Olympic triathlon on August 7.
“I’m pleased with the training I have been able to complete over the past 3 weeks,” Kahlefeldt said from Aix Le Bains today.
“I’m not quite where I would like to be performance wise coming into Kitzbuhel but I think I’m only a couple of weeks off.”
Australian head coach Shaun Stephens said today Kahlefeldt had made an extraordinary recovery.
“He eased back into training for the first 10 days but the last three weeks of training has been at full training load,” Stephens said.
“Brad will train through Kitzbuhel with the aim of getting another Olympic distance race under his belt in his preparations for London.
“Hence, Kitzbuhel will serve as a useful benchmark before entering another block of training in his Olympic build up.”
Kahlefeldt will be joined on the start line by emerging Australian youngsters Aaron Royle and Ryan Fisher while in the women’s race, last week’s ITU World Cup bronze medallist, Ashleigh Gentle will be joined by Felicity Sheedy-Ryan and Felicity Abram.
Meanwhile Olympic favourite Alistair Brownlee (GBR) enters his first ITU race this season after sustaining an Achilles tendon injury in February.
Last year’s incredible four WTS golds led to his 2011 World Champion crown.
Now, attention will focus on whether he is back to full race fitness to reclaim his Kitzbühel titles from 2009 & 2011 and ascertain his position on the road to London 2012.
Jonathan Brownlee joins his brother in Austria following consecutive WTS success in San Diego and Madrid.
The Women’s Race will see New Zealander Andrea Hewitt enter her third ITU World Triathlon Series of the year straight off the back of Banyoles World Cup where she finished fourth.
After her bronze in Sydney in April, a medal this weekend will be Hewitt’s fifth in Kitzbühel.
Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig has won her past two races, taking the most recent World Triathlon Series in Madrid for the second year running and regaining her European Championship title in Israel in April.
Gwen Jorgensen, representing USA at London 2012 will also appear in Kitzbühel.
Jorgensen enters the race just days after winning the Banyoles World Cup and also came fourth in Sydney this year. She gained Olympic selection last year with an impressive display in London last year on the 2012 Olympic course finishing second.
Issued on behalf of Triathlon Australia.