Olympic bronze medallist, Jonathan Brownlee, starts his ITU World Triathlon Series campaign this Saturday in Japan. Jonathan missed the first two races of the Series with an ankle injury, but will line-up against Olympic silver medallist, Javier Gomez and current world number one, Joao Silva. Jodie Stimpson will also hope to make an impact on the women’s race.
Brownlee had planned to start his season in San Diego, a race that was dominated by elder brother, Alistair, the Olympic champion. However, an early season injury forced Jonathan to miss the race.
Speaking from Yokohama, he said: “The ankle is absolutely fine now, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. Obviously I haven’t been training as well as I would have liked to train but then I think a bit of a break might be quite good for me after last year.
“I’m really looking forward to racing, it’s been a while without racing so I’ve got the bug to start again.”
Adam Bowden will be relishing his return to Yokohama having finished sixth there last year and seventh in 2011. He posted a sixth place finish in San Diego, indicating that he is on form for another top finish against a quality field this weekend.
David McNamee is another British athlete in the hunt for a top ten finish. He was tenth in San Diego last month having had an excellent winter’s training.
Joining them on the start line are Aaron Harris, Mark Buckingham and Phil Wolfe.
The women’s race features Britain’s Jodie Stimpson and Katie Hewison alongside San Diego winner, Gwen Jorgensen. In a small field of just 23 athletes, Stimpson, will have her sights on her first ever podium finish having finished fifth in San Diego.
Points won in Yokohama will help athletes secure a place in the free-to-view PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final in London, 11-15 September. Jonathan Brownlee is already excited by this prospected, commenting:
“The Olympic course in London is something that’s particularly special to go back to, and hopefully we’ll get lots of people out watching. I can’t wait to go back to London, when I watch clips now I get quite emotional because it was so incredible. If we can get a taste of that again it will be pretty special.”
The women’s race starts at 8:06am local time on Saturday (12.06am UK time Friday night) and the men’s follows afterwards at 11.01am (3:01am UK time). Both races are live on the BBC Red Button with a highlights programme featuring on BBC2 on Sunday 12 May at 2.40pm.
British athletes racing in Yokohama
Katie Hewison, 27, Chorley, coached by Darren Smith
Jodie Stimpson, 24, Birmingham, coached by Darren Smith
Adam Bowden, 30, London, coached by Mark Pearce in Loughborough
Jonathan Brownlee, 23, Leeds, coached by Malcolm Brown/Jack Maitland
Mark Buckingham, 28, Holmfirth, coached by Mark Pearce in Loughborough
Aaron Harris, 24, Bideford, Hants, coached by Mark Pearce in Loughborough
David McNamee, 25, Irvine, coached by Malcolm Brown/Jack Maitland in Leeds
Phil Wolfe, 24, Walsall, coached by Glen Cook
Image: Delly Carr/ITU