The focus of the sporting world will be on the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong on 17 February when five-time ITU World Triathlon Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Spain’s Javier Gomez makes his Geelong debut.
Javier has been a force in the world of ITU short course triathlon for more than a decade before capturing the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2017 and last year making the switch to full distance IRONMAN racing.
One of the world’s most consistent athletes, without a weakness in any discipline, Javier’s presence at Eastern Beach will ensure the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong is one of the highlights of the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 calendar.
The Spanish superstar is returning to Australia to kick start his year and set himself up for one of his priority events of 2019, his assault on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France on 7-8 September.
“It is true that February is normally a bit soon to race for me, but the main goal for racing so early is to validate my slot for IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs.”
“This is my first time in Geelong, so I want to give my best on race day and then see how it goes. It is a race that I have been looking at since years ago and now it will be finally possible to make it happen. I am very excited to race in Australia again,” Javier said.
After a tough year out of his natural comfort zone training and racing IRONMAN in 2018, the offseason was a welcome break for Javier and a wonderful opportunity to gather friends and family in New Zealand for his marriage to Kiwi triathlete Anneke Jenkins in December.
“There is a lot of learning from 2018. All related to nutrition when racing long distance was pretty much new for me. I know the mistakes I made last year, especially in Kona. It was a great experience for me and moving to long distance last year gave me the opportunity to do different things that I have been doing for years. Kona is definitely a different race that needs a very specific preparation for it.”
“This offseason has been special for me because I got married to Anneke. The training is going well but it is early, and I am still building the base and the fitness for the whole year.”
Silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympics and the five-time ITU Champion, Gomez has some unfinished business over the standard distance.
With Tokyo 2020 Olympics just around the corner, it is important for him to reclaim his position in the extremely strong Spanish men’s team that will most likely include current world number one Mario Mola and the flying Alarza Fernando.
“Validating in Geelong is my first priority but after that, I will return to the Olympic distance for the first part of the season and will be focused on the ITU World Triathlon Series Olympic races.”
“There is another race in May which I am motivated for, the ITU Long Distance World Championships which is hosted in Pontevedra, my hometown. I want to do it well, even though I am aware that my training program is not very focused on those distances,” Javier said.