Last Wednesday saw the official press launch of the 2012 Sydney Dextro Energy Triathlon with superstars of the sport both present and future attending. Brad Khalefeldt, Emma Moffatt, Chris McCormack and up and coming Emma Jackson all answered questions with the Sydney Opera House as the backdrop.
(Photo slideshow below article…)
With this year being an Olympic year Sydney presents as one of the last opportunities to be selected for the Australian team after this weekend’s ITU race in Mooloolaba. Emma Jackson would have to be a front runner to be on the team along with Brendan Sexton. Brad Kahlefeldt and Emma Moffatt are already selected and after the race in Tasmania two weeks ago the Australian men will still have to fight tooth and nail to ensure they stay in the top eight on team points to lock away a third spot, with Gemmell (second) and Tony Dodds (fourth) keeping the Kiwis in the pointscore mix.
Chris McCormack has only two races left to prove that he has the speed to represent Australia but with some performances recently from Sexton, Courntey Atkinson and Aaron Royle plus a host of others young guys such as Drew Box, Ryan Bailie, Ryan Fisher, Mitchell Kealey, Peter Kerr and Jack Hicky, he knows he has his work cut out.
In the women’s side Ashleigh Gentle and Erin Densham are also putting their hands up. It will be great to see how Emma Snowsill goes this weekend in Mooloolaba and how these other girls go against her.
One of the main issues from 2011 was the ensuing traffic problems surrounding the event and the negative press the sport received due to this. All interested parties have worked together to make sure that this problem does not rise again. Malcomlm Noad, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for the Dextro Energy Triathlon Sydney, spoke about the new event schedule and routes.
This year we will see the two elite races take place on Saturday morning without the requirement to close the Cahill Expressway. There will be an initial closure of the on ramp from Macquarie Street as the Elites make there way up from T1 at the Sydney Opera House.
The elite cycle course is an 8 lap course which goes from cnr Hunter St & Macquarie Street to Mrs Macqurie’s Chair and then on to the cnr of College and Park Sts. This means we will get ample opportunity to see the race unfold. The four lap run course is almost identicle except the runners will turn just past the Art Gallery in the Domain instead of going all the way down to Mrs Macqurie’s Chair.
The great thing about the new schedule is that Sydney’s triathlon community will be able to get out to watch these two races. I can hear a few grumbling saying ‘But I have a training session to do…’ etc. This is a once a year opportunity to show the wider community what a great sport we have and to get some main stream media. So if you are so amendment that you need to have a last hit out before your age group race on Sunday at least incorporate a ride in to the city to support our sport.
2012 will see more Australian’s racing in our premier ITU triathlon event. Last year we missed the opportunity to watch our up and coming stars race but did witness Brendan Sexton have the race of his life. He has gone on to show that he has the ability to be one of the best in the world.
This years race will be more exciting than normal due to the heightened need for athletes from all countries to present themselves at Olympic hopefuls.
Both Emma Moffatt and Brad Kahlefeldt spoke about the year ahead and the focus they have on the Olympics already. They won’t be losing the intensity as they race the ITU circuit as there is still a need to race and continually fine tune all three aspects of their repertoire. They cannot drop their guard as they both have Olympic gold as the goal at London.
Chris McCormack spoke about the year and the passion he feels towards the Olympics. Missing out in 2000 was a big thing for Macca and whilst he is realistic about his chances he left us in no doubt that whatever happens he will be one of the biggest supporters of the team and will be cheering louder than most if he misses out on the team. In Geelong at the Australian Sprint Championships Macca almost became the Australian Champion at 39 years old. The only thing between him and the title was a 15sec penalty on the run.