Round 7 of the ITU Dextro Energy World Championship Series takes place in Beijing from the 7th-11th September. As the ‘Grand Final’ 2404 athletes from 64 nations will also be competing for the Under 23, Junior, Age-Group, Paratriathlon and Aquathlon World Championships.
Being the Grand Final the elite athletes will be gunning for a top performance with double points on offer and a boast in the all importance prize money. Like the Olympic test event in London a few weeks ago, many federations with a number of Olympic hopefuls have designated Beijing as a qualification race for their squad.
The Elite Men’s race takes place on Saturday 10th at 12:30. Gavin Noble will be one of 75 men lining up to take on the challenging 2008 Olympic Triathlon course. The field is once again stacked and will feature 2009 World Champion Alistair Brownlee, 2010 World Champion Javier Gomez and recently crowned Sprint Distance World Champion Jonathan Brownlee.
Noble had a disappointing outing in the last high profile race in London when he came down on a greasy bend on the bike course. “It took me a while to get back to running and pain free swimming but luckily I had the help of Triathlon Ireland physiotherapist Deidre Burrell in London.”
Looking forward to Beijing, Noble is treating this as another opportunity to come away with good points to maintain or boost his ranking. “I am looking forward to Beijing in particular as we have a team going and there is always a special buzz around the grand final and age group world championships.”
Aileen Morrison will be racing in the Elite Women’s race on Sunday 11th at 1:30. Morrison has had a low key year by her high standards so far but is maintaining a good Olympic ranking though consistent performances. She placed 14th in the European Championships and 18th in the London Olympic dress rehearsal but is gaining fitness all the time. “Training has been amazing. I just need to put together a good swim, bike and run in a race to show that! I’ve been doing a ridiculous amount of cycling so hopefully it helps.”
Competing in the U23 World Championships is Ben Shaw. Shaw trains in the warm climate of Noosa, Australia so will be well used to the heat of Beijing. Not content with just making the start line Shaw is after results. “I could sugar coat this and suggest just competing in such an event is an achievement in itself. But the reality is I will be doing everything I can to be at the front of the race.” “Ultimately results count and my job is to get results.”
Triathlon Ireland also has a team of 9 amateur athletes also know as Age Groupers who will be competing for medals in the various age group categories. Ireland secured gold and two bronze medals in the European Championship held in Pontevedra, Spain a number of months ago so will be looking to repeat that success.