The elite men’s and women’s ITU Triathlon World Championships will be decided but there is a lot more than just that happening in Beijing this week. A total of 2040 athletes from 65 different National Federations will descend on the Chinese capital for almost a week of multisport madness including the junior, U23, aquathlon and paratriathlon world titles. Click here for a full run down on Beijing Grand Final week
About the city: The capital of China is also its largest city and the thriving metropolis is home to over 20-million people. It’s both a window to the countries ancient culture as well as a model of China’s modern city, which could be seen in some of the breaktaking venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Those Games, which triathlon was a part of, was the first time the Olympics had been staged in China. The Triathlon venue is at Changping, and the course is a tough one that demands all-round strong triathletes.
U23 Men – Friday 9 September – 12:30 (UTC/GMT +8) Click here for time in your area
Paratriathlon – Friday 9 September – 15:45 (UTC/GMT +8)
Junior Women – Saturday 10 September – 10:45 (UTC/GMT +8)
Elite Men – Saturday 10 September – 12:30 (UTC/GMT +8)
U23 Women – Saturday 10 September – 15:15 (UTC/GMT +8)
Elite Women – Sunday 11 September – 13:30 (UTC/GMT +8)
Junior Men – Sunday 11 September – 16:15 (UTC/GMT +8)
Or follow @triathlonlive on Twitter for text updates on race day.
Live video coverage from Beijing will be available on the elite men’s and women’s race day at triathlonlive.tv
TOTAL PRIZE MONEY:
$100,000 USD (equal for men & women) PLUS the $500,000 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship
COURSE PROFILE: Elite and Age-Group
Swim (1.5km) – Athletes dive into the Chang Ping reservoir off a pontoon and swim one lap. The distance to the first buoy will be 525 meters. Expected water temperature will be above 20C. Wetsuits are not expected.
Bike (40km) – After a short run to the transition zone, athletes will bike six laps of 6.6km on a partly
hilly and technical course.
Run (10km) – Athletes will finish on the 4-lap 2.5km run course which is partly hilly.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR
Future ITU stars in action in Juniors and U23 – It’s the breeding ground for future ITU stars as Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez, and more have all won the ITU junior titles and now the latest generation of juniors. Watch out for two possible two consecutive titles to Great Britain in the men’s, after Jonathan Brownlee won last year, this year there is the talented trio of Aaron Harris, Tom Bishop and Matthew Sharp. In the junior women’s, Youth Olympic medallists like Kelly Whitley, Eszter Dudas, Fany Beisaron (ISR) should do well and also keep an eye on the men’s Youth Olympic Games medallists like Aaron Barclay (NZL) and bronze medallist Alois Knabl (AUT). Singapore silver medallist and Budapest bronze medallist Kevin McDowell will not compete after undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but his American team mate Lukas Verzbicas has said he wants to win for him. Verzbicas was poised to take up a promising college athletics career before McDowell was diagnosed early in 2011 and he then decided that he would race one more year in triathlon, with an aim to win the gold medal that he was sure McDowell would have won.
Paratriathlon – This event is the first ITU Paratriathlon World Championships since the officially announcement from the International Paralympic Committee that paratriathlon is on the programme for the 2016 Paralympic Games. There are athletes from 18 different national federations competing in Beijing, making it one more NOC represented than last year. The races are on Friday September 9, from 15.45 and promise to offer plenty of inspiration all in attendance.
Elite Women – With a total of 2913 points, ahead of Barbara Riveros Diaz with 2712 and Paula Findlay with 2637, Helen Jenkins only needs to finish on the podium to win her second ITU World Championship title. Jenkins won her first in 2008, off the back of a bike breakaway with Sarah Haskins, but wasn’t among the favourites at the start of the year, particularly after a bike crash in Sydney left her 29th. But a stellar season has followed and now the 2011 ITU World Championship is hers to lose. The others must rely on Jenkins dropping down the results, while Findlay will need a huge result just to make the podium. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) is just one point down from the Canadian, with 2636. Click here for full women’s preview
Elite Men – The medallists already look like some combination of Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez, but it doesn’t take long to remember just how quickly things can change on the Grand Final day. Last year’s Budapest Grand Final was basically supposed to decide whether or not Jan Frodeno or Javier Gomez would be on top of the world. But Frodeno faded and finished off the podium, allowed compatriot Steffen Justus to claim silver, while Australia’s Brad Kahlefeldt ran into bronze. Still, it’s going to be hard to beat the two men who have dominated triathlon for the past three years, 2009 ITU World Champion Alistair Brownlee and 2008 and 2010 ITU World Champion Javier Gomez and the man who looks like he might be next, two-time ITU world sprint champion Jonathan Brownlee. Ali Brownlee has 3085 points, Jonny has 2965 and Gomez owns 2858 points. Click here for full men’s preview
Rare chance to be an Age-Group World Champion on an Olympic course – It was the centre of the triathlon universe during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when the world’s best triathletes battled it out for Olympic glory. This time thousands of age-group athletes get to race on that very Olympic course where Jan Frodeno and Emma Snowsill triumped on September 10 and 11. Each and every world title is important, but there is also the overall medal table to think of, in Budapest there was 2889 age-group athletes and 204 medals given out. Great Britain took home a total of 56 age-group medals, ahead of the USA who finished with 48. In Beijing, there is a total of almost 200 age group athletes. China with 459 athletes has the most athletes represented. Great Britain is next with 341. For the final age-group courses maps and videos, please click here
PAST DEXTRO ENERGY TRIATHLON ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINAL WINNERS
2010 Grand Final Budapest
1. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
2009 Grand Final Gold Coast
1. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
PAST ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALLISTS
1. Emma Moffatt (AUS) – Gold 1. Javier Gomez (ESP) – Gold
2. Nicola Spirig (SUI) – Silver 2. Steffen Justus (GER) – Silver
3. Lisa Norden (SWE) – Bronze 3. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) – Bronze
1. Emma Moffatt (AUS) – Gold 1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) – Gold
2. Lisa Norden (SWE) – Silver 2. Javier Gomez (ESP) – Silver
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) – Bronze 3. Maik Petzold (GER) – Bronze