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Location: Mooloolaba Beach,
Olympians spearhead strong Australian field for season opener
will field a strong line up at the 2009 Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World
Cup on Sunday 29 March, the first race on the international calendar
and a key hit-out for Australian's looking to sharpen up their racing
skills and gauge their training preparation ahead of the international
Beijing Games bronze medallist Emma Moffatt along with
Olympic team mates Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson will be on the
start line and keen for a good race on home soil before heading
overseas to contest the new seven race Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU
World Championship Series kicking off on May 2 in Korea and culminating
at the Gold Coast ITU Triathlon World Championships in September.
glaring omission in the Australian lineup is Olympic gold medallist
Emma Snowsill who is under done in her preparation for Sunday's race
after sustaining a cracked rib while enjoying her favourite pastime -
"I cracked my rib surfing a couple of months ago and
thought I would still be able to compete but the time off swimming in
order to recover quickly has paid its price and I am not where I need
to be at this point to compete."
"However, I will still be up there and catching up with everyone over the weekend," said Snowsill.
has completed just one race this year, the Caloundra Triathlon in
February which she won but highlighted her lack of motivation. This
prompted a move to the training mecca of the Gold Coast alongside
Snowsill and Felicity Abram.
This will be Abram's first hit out
since finishing 2008 ranked number two in the world. Abram chose a
heavy schedule last year in an effort to bank as much World Cup racing
as possible, which took its toll on the 22 year old but, is back and
armed with a determination to make 2009 a standout year.
world number 1 Annabel Luxford has made a very successful return to the
racing scene after a year long layoff with injury. Although Luxford has
claimed two national titles on her way back this season she knows
Mooloolaba will be a very different ball game coming up against a
strong international field.
Joining the Australian's on the
start line will be a classy international lineup including Laura
Bennett (USA), New Zealand's Debbie Tanner, three-time Olympian Kiyomi
Niwata and Sweden's Lisa Norden.
The opening 1,500 metre swim
will take place in the open sea off Mooloolaba beach, followed by a 40
kilometre bike and 10 kilometre run along the coastal roadways.
Athletes will encounter difficult conditions with hot and humid weather
forecasted to test them over the grueling course.
In the men's
field Australia's Commonwealth gold medallist and world ranked number
three, Brad Kahlefeldt, will start as one of the favourites following a
winning start to 2009. Kahlefeldt had a strong win over Atkinson and
Dan Wilson (Aust) at the Gold Coast Oceania Championships recently, his
first race back since a five month layoff following hip surgery.
Kahlefeldt has a good record at Mooloolaba finishing second last year behind Javier Gomez (ESP) and a win in 2007.
has had a phenomenal start to 2009 claiming the double - Sprint and
Olympic Distance titles for a fourth consecutive year. In this post
Olympic year he is armed with a new ambition and adopted a new racing
strategy. The 29 year old along with coach, Shaun Stephens plan to race
more often and with more intensity to be primed for a heavy
Also in the Australian line up is Dan
Wilson who finished second to Atkinson in the Sprint titles and third
at the Oceania Championships along with one of Australia's most
credentialed athletes, Greg Bennett and a host of U23 athletes looking
to make their mark.
The field also boasts New Zealand Olympians
Shane Reed and Kris Gemmell both familiar with this course and sure to
feature at the front end of the field.
The ITU World Cup is the
centrepiece of a three day sport and entertainment festival. The
Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival will run from Friday 27 -- Sunday 29 March
At a glance
Olympic Distance -- 1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run
Swim: 1 lap, ocean swim off Mooloolaba Beach.
Cycle: 7 laps -- along Mooloolaba Esplanade with complete road
closure. Predominantly flat course with one hill to negotiate.
Run: 4 laps -- along Mooloolaba Esplanade, follows the same course as the cycle.
2008 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup winners
Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:49:50 Emma Snowsill (AUST) 2:00:44
Elite Women Start: 11.35am
Elite Men Start: 2:00pm
Organisers of the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival, USM Events can
reassure anyone travelling to compete in the event from 27 -- 29 March
that Mooloolaba Beach is unaffected by the recent Oil Spill off Moreton
Island and is in pristine condition for those competing or visiting the
5,000 triathletes will contest the 1.5km swim leg of the triathlon in
the beautiful waters of Mooloolaba Beach on Sunday 29th March.
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