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Home / News / Triathletes target double gold in Beijing this weekend

Triathletes target double gold in Beijing this weekend

Build up to Beijing Grand Final this weekend... set your clocks for 5.30am

Britain’s Helen Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee go to Beijing this weekend ranked number one in the world ahead of Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final.

The GE Great Britain Triathlon Team has strength and depth, with a total of six senior athletes ranked in the world’s top twenty, including Jonathan Brownlee in second place. A small team has been preparing in Jeju, South Korea, and the full team will meet up in Beijing, team lists and racing schedules are below.

Speaking at a GE Great Britain team press conference from Jeju via a teleconference, hosted at the GE offices in Berkeley Square, London, yesterday, Alistair said: “It’s a really important race for me and I’ll go out and do the best I can.”

With Jonathan ranked number two in the world, Alistair added: “If you look purely at the world rankings then Jonny’s got the second best chance of winning the title, but he’s one of about five athletes who could win.”

Alistair has a 120 point advantage over his younger sibling. However, the Grand Final offers fifty percent more points than the previous rounds of the Series, meaning there are 1200 points available to the winner, 1110 for second and 1027 for third. Reigning world champion, Javier Gomez is currently in third place, 227 behind Alistair in the rankings.

Jonathan commented: “I’m not going to think about points and a half. I’m going to turn up and race as well as I can.”

With a chance to claim the world title in his first senior season, Jonathan added: “It’s been a shock of a year, it’s gone really well. To get a podium in every World Championship Series race that I’ve done this year has been great.

“I want to beat Alistair of course, but I’m not really thinking about Gomez, there are so many great athletes out there.”

Will Clarke goes to the Grand Final ranked eighth. Having already achieved a podium finish in Hamburg, another one in Beijing would see him achieve the British Triathlon Olympic selection criteria, although places will not be confirmed until next summer.

He said: “I’m ranked eighth in the world at the moment. I’m within a shout of the top five, or to at least hold my position, that would be a big step forward for me this year.”

Helen Jenkins, who has completed her final preparations from home in South Wales, knows that a podium finish will secure the 2011 world title. This is an aim she had not targeted this year, with meeting British Triathlon’s Olympic selection criteria being her priority. She last won the title in 2008 in Vancouver when the world champion was decided by a single race.

Jenkins has shown remarkable consistency to have achieved a win, two second places and a fourth in the Series this year. However, there are less than 300 points separating the first four women (Barbara Riveros Diaz, Paula Findlay and Andrea Hewitt).

She said: “Finishing on the podium will be a bonus that was not actually an aim at the start of the year.”

Britain’s elite junior, U23 athletes and paratriathletes have the opportunity to boost the potential medal haul in Beijing and experience racing on the 2008 Olympic course. In addition, 270 amateur athletes have qualified to represent Great Britain and will compete for world titles in their age categories.

The senior events will be live on the BBC Red Button and will be shown online via triathlonlive.tv. There will also be a highlights package shown on 17 September at 3pm on BBC1.

We will be reporting on all the action in the junior, U23, patatriathlon and age group races via Twitter (@brittri), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BritishTriathlon) and britishtriathlon.org.

Schedule (Beijing is seven hours ahead of London, UK start times shown in brackets):

Friday 9 Sept:

12:30 (5:30am) U23 Men

15:45 (8.45am) Paratriathlon

Saturday 10 Sept

10:45 (3:45am) Junior Women

12:30 (5:30am) Elite Men

15:15 (8:15am) U23 Women

Sunday 11 Sept

13:30 (6:30am) Elite Women

16:15 (9:15am) Junior Men

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.