ITU athletes Lisa Norden, Emma Moffatt, Emma Snowsill, Jan Frodeno, Javier Gomez and Brad Kahlefeldt opened the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series today at a press conference in Hyde Park, Sydney.
All six atheletes are former Olympians, with two gold medals and one bronze medal amongst them. Whilst they all confirmed that they are excited and ready to race they all confirmed that their focus is on London 2012.
Brad Kahlefeldt said that he is feeling a bit tired from Mooloolaba. Whilst he is no doubt talking his chances down we are sure that he will be one of the athletes to beat on Sunday.
2010 ITU World Champion Javier Gomez is coming in to this season injury free which is a unique situation for him. Speaking to Trizone after the press conference Gomez feels confident, albeit a little scratchy at this stage, about the upcoming world championship series. He has also been over here for a few weeks “It feels great being able to start a season with no injuries. I am at about 90% of where I want to be already at this stage and right now I am trying to get all of the ‘race conditioning’ sorted. Mooloolaba was a good opportunity to get my head back in to transitioning and the other things you need to start thinking about when racing. Things such as attacking on the bike. I felt I could keep running at the pace I ran at Mooloolaba for longer but I didn’t feel I had anymore speed. Hopefully this has improved abit over the last two weeks.”
I asked Gomez about Brendan Sexton and what his initial thought were in Mooloolaba. “To be honest I was surprised and impressed with what Brendan did in Mooloolaba. Even with the 15 second penalty he was outstanding. What might have happened had he not had the penalty who knows?”
Gomez acknowledges that the competition this year for the championship is going to be tougher than previous years. “Alistair Brownlee is starting at Sydney this year which he didn’t do lat year due to injury. It means that the competition will be a lot more challenging and honest in 2011.”
Lisa Nordon was her usually chatty self and was happy to tell the media about doing the BRW corporate triathlon in Sydney years ago dressed in a dog costume. How times have changed. She is now racing as the number three ranked ITU triathlete. Lisa has been living and training in Canberra for almost six months. A recent foot injury has held back her running. When I spoke to her after the press conference she was happy to talk about the issue she has been having. “I got some inflametion down my tibia which has meant I had to take a complete rest for 10 days from running. This happened around the time of the Huskisson triathlon. It meant that Mooloolaba fell right in to the middle of this and was only a swim and cycling event for me. Also Just before Mooloolaba I had an accident on my bike which also disrupted my preparation.” Lisa told Trizone recently that she is a slow starter in the ITU season and this leg injury will not help. “Whilst I have not been able to run for 10 days I have been doing a bike / swim program which meant I was on an indoor trainer beside the pool and was doing cycling session followed by run sessions in the pool. I don’t feel that I am anywhere near where I should be but it has definitely been a big help.”
Lisa’s world championship title in Europe last year was a big thing for Sweden and really put the sport on the map there.