This weekend Jodie Swallow revs up for Kona qualification, Javier Gomez lines up once again alongside the rest of the 2012 Olympic podium, and Fredrik Croneborg and Sam Appleton race on familiar territory.
Swallow is set to race the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship in Cairns after crashing out of her title defense at the Ironman African Championship. The Briton has been training in tropical North Queensland for the past week and a half. “My preparations in Australia have gone to plan even if the seasons are not. It is supposed to be winter and is 30 degrees and humid, to boot!”
She says, “I’m looking forward to executing all the work I have built into this race and the efforts I took to adapt the season following my injuries at Ironman South Africa. The broken elbow was, to be honest, only half of the repercussions from that crash [on the bike]. Mentally I have also endured a bashing. But I am strong and ready and hope I can display that here on Sunday.”
Gomez lines up at his first ITU World Triathlon Series race of the year in Leeds. The race is the first match-up between Olympic medalists Gomez and the Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan since the 2014 WTS finals in Edmonton. The five-time world champion and Olympic silver medalist says, “I am very excited to race an ITU World Series again. These races are the most demanding because many of the world’s best athletes are competing. It is another step forward to check how my fitness is progressing and that I am on track for Rio.”
It is the first time Leeds is hosting a WTS race. The Spaniard continues, “I expect it will be a great race because it is the Brownlees’ hometown and many fans will be supporting them. They will want to break the race from the start. I will have to be very focused in all three disciplines.”
Croneborg is a fixture at Ironman 70.3 Japan, having raced five times in Chita and claiming a podium spot four times. He says of lining up at the start again this year, “I know the race venue and course well so I hope I will be able to do another podium.”
The Phuket-based Swede has recovered well from a bike crash 12 days ago where he sustained bruised ribs. “The first week I could not run and could only do easy swims. But this week I built up the training again and now I don’t get affected in training anymore.”
At Ironman 70.3 Boulder, Appleton will be racing a course he trains on most days. “I’ve been living in Boulder for 12 months now,” says the Australian. “I’m excited to race my ‘home away from home’ 70.3. It will be great to have some home crowd support and I am feeling really fit. I can’t wait to get out there.”