The focus of the sporting world will be on Cairns on 10 June with the announcement that five time ITU World Triathlon Champion, X-terra World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez will make his Ironman debut at the Cairns Airport Ironman Cairns Asia-Pacific Championship.
Gomez, the current Ironman 70.3 World Champion and a force in the world of short course triathlon for more than a decade, has also announced his intention to race the Ironman World Championships in 2018.
The Cairns Airport Ironman Cairns Asia-Pacific Championship is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the 2018 Ironman calendar with Gomez joining three time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae in using Cairns as a vital part of their Kona preparation.
Gomez has been one of the world’s most consistent athletes and without a weakness in any discipline he is hoping to follow the footsteps of other short course athletes who have very successfully switched to Ironman racing.
“At 35, I feel good physically, I feel fast on the track and it motivates me to continue, so this year I am focused on long distance. While I don’t have the experience of racing Ironman yet, my times in the water, the bike and the run are in a good level and I feel excited to train.”
Cairns offers Gomez the perfect early season opportunity to learn about the demands of Ironman in an environment that closely simulates the hot and humid race conditions he will experience in Kona in October.
“When I was looking at the calendar I always thought that Ironman Cairn would be the first option to do in my debut on the full distance. For me Cairns is a double objective, as the Asia-Pacific Championship it is a P4000 classification which offers maximum qualifying points which is the most important and second is the only Ironman race where I will be before Kona.”
“I do not have Ironman experience and I could have chosen some other Ironman race from Europe, it would be easier in travel, but Cairns has more heat, more humidity. I want to try to simulate the conditions and equate them with what I will find in Hawaii as much as possible. I hope to learn from Cairns and use the experience.”
“Competition and racing is difficult to simulate or reproduce in training, so we hope to get positive data from Cairns that we can use and will help to improve my performance. In Cairns I want to learn everything that is possible. It may not be optimal or sufficient to do just one Ironman, but many Ironman’s cannot be done in one season.”
“In terms of my expectations, everything is new for me, new training programs, nutrition tricks, etc. so my main goal is to test my body for the full distance, which it is going to be a big challenge for me. Cairns is the only full distance I will do before the World Championship but I enjoy racing the best and most important races. Plus Australia is a country I have always enjoyed and I have good memories of,” Gomez said.
Gomez said that after Cairns he will defend his Ironman 70.3 World Championship title in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa on 2 September but not at the expense of his debut in Kona five weeks later.
“It will be a tough race, with very good rivals, but I am focused on Kona. It is clear that I will fight and do my best, but I will not sacrifice my preparation for Kona for a gold in 70.3.”
“Kona is a very complicated race, I do not have the experience of having raced there, but I know the course. It is very difficult, first because the best athletes are at 100 per cent and second because of the weather conditions. The wind is something favours just a type of athlete and if you don’t go well in heat it is very difficult for you to ever be champion of the Ironman world. My motivation and all the effort that I put into my training every single day is to be there and fight against the best,” he said.