Double Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty will embark on a new career in triathlon on home soil, he announced in Auckland today.
Docherty has confirmed he will race in the new IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland race on 20 January to officially begin his career in endurance triathlon. This race also doubles as the official Asia Pacific Championship.
It won’t, however, be the only New Zealand appearance for the 35 year old, who also announced today that he will make full IRONMAN debut in his hometown of Taupo in the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand in March.
Docherty, who is now based with his family in California, said he is excited to begin a new chapter of his illustrious career in his home country and his hometown.
â€œTriathlon has been my professional life for 15 years and I have been blessed to win two Olympic medals, a Commonwealth Games medal and a world championship title,â€ Docherty said.
â€œNow it is time to move forward. Ironman has always been on my bucket list. It’s the cornerstone of our sport and really where it all started.
â€œI’ve tried my hand at Ironman 70.3 this year with success and now I am going to begin this part of my career with the same passion and professionalism that I have since I began as a teenager.
â€œIt could not be more fitting to begin this right here in Auckland. It was incredible to compete in front of all the crowds in downtown Auckland in the ITU World Cup final and so to return here in January for this super-exciting race based here in the Viaduct and to bike over the Harbour Bridge is incredible.
â€œThe course includes the Auckland waterfront where Ironman first began in this country so I fully respect those great names in our sport that have competed there before me.â€
Docherty said he is both daunted and excited to move up to the full Ironman distance (3.8km swim,180km bike, 42.2km run) on March 2 in Taupo.
â€œMy ultimate aim is to compete and win in the IRONMAN World championship in Hawaii. That is the Holy Grail of the sport.
â€œI am not getting ahead of myself though. Now I have to prepare for IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland in January and then put in a lot of hard work for Taupo. I am so excited to be able to make my Ironman debut in my hometown with my family and friend there.â€
IRONMAN New Zealand National Manager Janette Blyth said the announcement was a coup for the new IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland event and for IRONMAN New Zealand.
â€œBevan has been an icon in this sport for so long. We are thrilled that he has chosen the IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland for his official debut in this form of the sport,â€ Blyth said.
â€œIt is an amazing course based here at the Viaduct and in downtown Auckland and already we have entries from athletes from 35 countries for the race on 20 January.
â€œWith Ironman legend Cameron Brown already committed to both events already we have the makings of two world class races. We are also in negotiation with a number of other athletes for both the IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland and IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo with more announcements expected soon.â€
CAPTION: Bevan Docherty in action at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships last month.