Jonathan Brownlee will attempt to defend his ITU Sprint World title tomorrow and Helen Jenkins is among the favourites in the women’s race. A strong GE Great Britain Triathlon Team will also contest the ITU Team World Championships on Sunday.
With the added incentive of Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series points, the men’s field will see Jonathan line up against his brother, Alistair, and almost all of the world’s current top ranked athletes including the current number one, Javier Gomez. The women’s field also includes most of the world’s top ten.
This event was added to the Series following the postponement of the round in Yokohama, Japan in May, meaning that athletes can not only win the ITU Sprint world title, but also boost their chances of winning the ITU world title at the Grand Final in Beijing next month.
Jonathan Brownlee said: “I was really pleased to be world sprint champion last year but this year is completely different, it’s part of the World Series and it’s a great field, one of the strongest sprint fields ever.”
Jonathan has finished second to Alistair twice in major races already this season, and was third in Hyde Park as Alistair claimed an imperious win. However, he thinks it may be closer over the sprint format (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run).
He said: “I’d like to think it will be a little bit closer as I’m more used to doing sprint races. I was doing them as a junior only two years ago.
“I’d also like to think that I’ve got a better finish, but I’ve never actually raced him in a sprint. I always tease him that I can sprint better than him, but when it comes to the final 100m it’s all about toughness.”
A good result for Helen Jenkins tomorrow could elevate her world ranking. She said: “I’m fourth at the moment so if I can move myself up onto the podium that will be a bonus that wasn’t actually an aim for me this year.”
Sunday’s elite team relay sees two British teams race in search of more than just victory. Taking place meters from the Olympic Museum, the aim is to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include team triathlon in the 2016 Olympic games.
Jonathan Brownlee said: “Great Britain has got a really strong team, but in team racing anything can happen.
“It’s a unique format, it’s exciting and it’s good for us because the girls have to go first! It’s something triathlon should be proud of seeing that men and women can complete together as part of a team. I’m proud to be part of it.”
Sunday’s team race will be the biggest and most competitive ever. There are already plans for the sprint and the team formats to feature more regularly as part of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in 2012.
International Triathlon Union President, Marisol Casardo, said; “It is very important to show our event in Lausanne, the Olympic capital. We think our athletes deserve more than one opportunity to win a medal at the Olympic Games.”
A decision will be made by the IOC during 2013.
The men’s and women’s sprint events start at 11.51pm and 2.06pm respectively on Saturday (UK time) and the team race starts at 12.45pm on Sunday. All three events will be shown live on the BBC Red Button (not on freeview) with a highlights programme at 4pm. The events are also available from the BBC and triathlon.tv online.
GE Great Britain Team
Men: Tom Bishop, Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee, Tim Don, Todd Leckie
Women: Hollie Avil, Lucy Hall, Vicky Holland, Helen Jenkins, Non Stanford, Jodie Stimpson
Team 1: Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee, Helen Jenkins, Jodie Stimpson
Team 2: Tom Bishop, Todd Leckie, Vicky Holland, Non Stanford
Photo credits: Triathlon.org | Delly Carr / ITU