The performances of the GE Great Britain Triathlon Team in Beijing have been described by British Triathlon’s Olympic Programme Manager, Malcolm Brown as ‘inspirational’.
Britain’s three new world champions will now follow slightly different paths as the season draws to a close, including some unfinished business for Helen Jenkins in Japan.
Half of the team will return home this week, whilst the rest will head for the first round of the 2012 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Yokohama next Monday, an event that was postponed following the Japanese earthquake.
Speaking at the conclusion of the world championships in Beijing, Brown said: “We have three world champions with Matt Sharp in the U23 and the two seniors. It’s exactly the sort of position you’d want to be in going into an Olympic year.
“Based on the performances this season, we know that on a given day, certain athletes have got a really good chance of achieving their ambition in the Olympic games.”
Brown, who has been in post since June, added: “The champions stand out, and there have been many outstanding individual performances. Everyone who competes for Great Britain in a major event such as this is a tough competitor; even those who were disappointed have given it everything.
“It’s not just the athletes who win who are inspiring, it’s everybody. Even those who have had a bad day have flogged themselves for every position. It’s been an uplifting experience.”
Brown had praise for the world class coaching and support staff that helped Alistair Brownlee, in particular, win the world title. His training between the previous round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Lausanne and the Grand Final was badly affected by illness.
He said: “I am so impressed with Ben [Bright, coach] and Emma [Deacon, physio] and his training partners from the camp in Jeju. He went out not a well individual, but they all arrived at the hotel complex relaxed and happy. It was like a breath of fresh air when they arrived. They did a great job with him in Korea.”
Looking forward to 2012, Brown suggests that rest and recovery will be the perfect platform for next year. “It’s really important that people enjoy what they have achieved and absolutely forget about training and competition for two to three weeks, because the next nine months are going to be so intense and difficult for them. They can only sustain the level of training and competition that will be needed for a limited period.”
“Three athletes have confirmed, in the eyes of the Olympic Performance Group, that they have the credentials to be nominated for Olympic selection, and the Olympics are most certainly our focus moving on from here.”
Before that rest and recovery starts, eleven British athletes will travel to Yokohama, racing next Monday on a Japanese national holiday. Points won there will count towards the 2012 world title, which won’t be settled until the end of October at the Series Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand. The team list for Yokohama is below.
Helen Jenkins had planned to race this event when it was originally scheduled for April, and will again face Andrea Hewitt, the New Zealander who beat her in the Grand Final race yesterday.
The rest of the GE Great Britain Team will return to Britain, with Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee set to race the conclusion of the French Grand Prix in La Baule this weekend and then holiday together immediately afterwards.
British athletes racing in Yokohama:
Adam Bowden, Tim Don, Todd Leckie, David McNamee, Lucy Hall, Vicky Holland, Helen Jenkins, Kerry Lang, Lois Rosindale, Non Stanford, Jodie Stimpson.