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ITU LD World Champs this Weekend

This weekend Perth hosts the 2009 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships and with it many of the sport's top long distance elite.

This weekend the coastal city of Perth in Western Australia hosts the 2009 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships and with it many of the sport’s top long distance elite. Headlining the competition will be recent Ironman Hawaii winner and home country hero Craig Alexander. The long distance world championships is set over double the Olympic distance – 3-kilometre swim, 80-kilometre bike and 20-kilometre run.

Alexander will not have an easy day however as two-time defending champion Julien Loy of France will be toeing the start line along with his strong teammate and last year’s runner up Francois Chabaud. Other long course stars lining up in Perth are New Zealand’s Kieran Doe and Australia’s duo of Simon Thompson and 2006 duathlon champion Leon Griffin.

The main contenders testing their long course legs this weekend will be Belgium powerhouse Axel Zeebroek, Timothy O’Donnell of the United States and 2000 Olympic bronze medallist Jan Rehula of Czech Republic.

In the women’s event the title is up for grabs as reigning champion Chrissie Wellington is not scheduled to race. Former ITU world champion over the Olympic distance, Leanda Cave and swim-bike extraordinaire Jodie Swallow will be the ones to fly the British flag in Perth. However the host nation Australia will have strong challengers in Pip Taylor and Rebekah Keat.

Perth has a strong history of hosting ITU events and world championships, playing home to the 1997 and 2000 ITU Triathlon World Championships. In both cases Australians have owned the podium taking eight of a possible 12 medals, including three gold. This year the course features a flat and fast profile and is sure to host some quick times over the double Olympic distance.

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.