British triathletes Tim Don, Non Stanford and Catherine Pickthall begin their 2012 seasons at the Cape Town ITU Sprint Triathlon African Cup in South Africa this weekend.?
Londoner, Tim is part of the UK Sport Lottery funded British Triathlon World Class Programme’s 2012 squad and this year will be focussed on recapturing the form that took him to the world title in 2006 in order to gain selection to his fourth Olympic Games.
Tim has spent the winter training in South Africa, and will be using the event in Cape Town as an early season test. Focus, however, remains on the opening race of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Sydney on 14 April, which signifies the first opportunity this season to achieve British Triathlon’s Olympic selection criteria.
He commented: “The race will be a good test of my winter training and it should be fun to race locally to where my winter base is. I am looking forward to racing, but I might be a bit rusty. Roll on the 2012 season.”
Welsh athlete, Non Stanford who is based in Leeds and is a member of the Olympic Academy Squad, is also aiming to get her season off to a good start. In 2011, Non recorded top-ten finishes at the ITU Triathlon World Cup in Ishigaki, the ITU Triathlon European Cup in Antalya and the ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup.
She added: “Cape Town is an early season opener for me so I’m not really sure what to expect. It’s hard to gauge how race fit you are when really you’re still in the depths of winter training. I think it will be really interesting to see how I go and I’m excited about getting back into race mode. Hopefully, I’ll start as I mean to go on this season.”
Non and Tim will be joined in Cape Town by Catherine Pickthall, the Loughborough-based 27 year-old former elite swimmer, who has been training in South Africa in the build up to the event.