World-class action this weekend

GB elites set for Aussie racing in Mooloolaba, Australia

The Olympic build-up cranks up a notch this weekend with the ITU World Cup in Mooloolaba.

Will Clarke, Liz Blatchford and Vicky Holland are among the British competitors in Mooloolaba, Australia this weekend. Sadly, Jodie Swallow has had to pull out through illness and is now on antibiotics. 

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The event will offer a good indication of form ahead of the higher priority ITU World Triathlon Series event in Sydney next month. 

Clarke and Blatchford have already achieved podium finishes this year, having finished second and third respectively at the Geelong ITU Sprint Triathlon Premium Oceania Cup last month. 

Clarke, who has been based on Australia’s Gold Coast all winter, finished last season ranked ninth in the world. His focus in the early part of this season will be to secure selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games Triathlon on 7 August in London’s Hyde Park.

He commented: "I raced in Geelong to get one under the belt before in big races. The first race of the year is typically quite average for me and I’m usualy quite rusty, so I wanted to get that out of the way before the Mooloolaba World Cup and Sydney World Triathlon Series. 

"Sydney in important for me with Olympic qualification and I need to show the selectors that I can be a medal contender there. I’ve done everything I can out here so hopefully that’s enough."

Clarke will face a strong line-up including French athletes David Hauss and Laurent Vidal, and Australia’s Brad Kahlefeldt. Former World Champion Chris McCormack is also set to race. 

Britain’s Stuart Hayes, Ritchie Nicholls and David McNamee complete Britain’s line-up in the men’s race.

Liz Blatchford finished eighth at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final in Beijing and is aiming for secletion for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

She said: "I love Mooloolaba. I think this will be my 11th year of competing here."

She’ll go up against Andrea Hewitt, who was runner-up to Britain’s Helen Jenkins in last year’s ITU World Championship Series. Australia’s former World Champion, Emma Moffatt, and top-10 ranked Lisa Norden of Sweden will provide more strong competition. 

The men’s race starts at 3pm local time on Saturday 24 March followed by the women’s race at 12.45pm on Sunday 25 March. Both races will be decided over a 1.5km swim with a mass beach start, a seven-lap 40km bike leg along Mooloolaba Esplanade and Alexandra Palace, over the Alex Hill.

The run is then a four-lap 10km leg, along the Mooloolaba Esplanade and Alex Hill. Live timing and text updates will be available at www.triathlon.org/live and via twitter.com/triathlonlive.

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