The eight leg ITU World Triathlon Series gets underway this weekend in Auckland and will finish with the grand final taking place on the London Olympic course in September.
In the men’s race, Ireland will be represented by Cork man Bryan Keane. Keane’s ranking of 197th in the world could not be further from the truth as he has produced some world class performances in the early part of the season. Keane has an 8th, 5th and 4th place finish so far this season, the highlight of which was his 4th place finish in the Mooloolaba World Cup.
Keane ran a 33 minute 10k to finish just 30 seconds behind this weekend’s race favourite and Olympic Silver medallist Javier Gomez of Spain.
The Auckland course, with its technical 40km bike leg should suit the former professional cyclist who will be hoping for a top 20 finish in his first World Triathlon Series race since a serious crash in 2010. A good result will leap frog Keane up the world rankings and once again establish him in the top tier of racing.
Derry native Aileen Reid (nee Morrison) lines up 8th on the start pontoon while her training mate Anne Haug of Germany holds the number one spot. Reid had a promising start here last season exiting the water in 2nd place before suffering a DNF on the bike. She will be looking to put things right this season and is coming off the back of two solid season openers. Reid took 3rd in the Devonport Sprint Oceania Championships followed by a 6th place finish in the tough Mooloolaba World Cup.
Reid’s early season run form has been off the pace due to the effects of a knee injury but with four solid weeks run training she will be hoping to regain some of her renowned speed.
You can catch Bryan Keane in the men’s ITU Auckland World Triathlon Series race at 12:06am and Aileen Reid in the women’s race at 3:06am on Saturday morning at www.triathlonlive.tv
Image: Delly Carr/ITU