Elite Irish triathletes will look to make a big impression in the European Championships in Pontevedra, Spain this weekend. With the elite women hopping into the warm water of the Lérez river at 12:30pm and the males getting under way at 7pm local time on Saturday (25th).
Derry native Aileen Morrison will be hoping to better the 5th place finish she achieved in this event last year, which took place in Athlone. Morrison is currently the top ranked Irish triathlete and is well on course for Olympic qualification. She will enter this race seeded 5th which will provide an advantageous start position amongst the favourites.
Morrison said “The European Championships are an event I aim to do well in every year. Last year on home turf I just missed out on the podium, but I feel I am in better shape this time around. It will be very tough in Spain on Saturday but I’m hopeful I can improve on last year’s placing.”
Two Irish athletes are competing in the elite men’s field with Bryan Keane looking to make a comeback to top level action after he suffered a major setback in his hopes for Olympic qualification when he was hit by a car while out training, resulting in a shattered knee cap and 10 weeks in a leg brace. The forced lay off from running has allowed him to focus on bringing his swimming to a higher standard, which could result in him making the all important front pack for the bike leg.
The newest entrant into elite ranks, Conor Murphy, will have a good opportunity to test himself against the best Europe has to offer. Murphy has had a good run of Top 10 results in the British Triathlon Super Series, which will serve as the perfect preparation for this Saturday.
Some 50 Age Group Athletes will also be representing Ireland and looking to bring back a hall of medals to rival that achieved in last year’s European Championships.