The World Cup circuit heads to Asia for the second stop of the series in familiar Ishigaki, Japan. The small island has been a staple on the ITU calendar for nearly two decades, with this weekend’s World Cup marking the 18th consecutive season Ishigaki has hosted an elite ITU event. This year, the race will be headlined by a strong Japanese team, which includes all five of Japan’s 2012 London Olympians.
About the race:
The Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup is the longest running ITU World Cup event, having been held every year since 1996. The island, approximately 2000km southwest of Tokyo, has become a triathlon mecca in Japan’s triathlon scene in that time. Each year over 1600 age-group triathletes from all over the region race on the island, as all its residents turn out to cheer for the weekend warriors and elite contenders.
Elite Women – Sunday 14 April – 13:00 (UTC/GMT + 9) Click here for time in your area
Elite Men – Sunday 14 April – 15:45 (UTC/GMT + 9)
Swim – Two-lap, 1.5km swim in Tonoshiro Fishery Harbour.
Bike – Seven-lap, technical 40km bike leg with athletes riding up and over a large bridge.Run – Three-lap, 10km run that includes crossing the same bridge.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR: Japanese at home –The strong Japanese team will be led by 2012 Olympians Yuichi Hosoda, Hirokatsu Tayama, Ai Ueda, Juri Ide and Mariko Adachi. Ide won here in 2009 and heads the women’s start list after a strong showing in Auckland last weekend. Up and comer Yuka Sato (JPN) just posted her highest finish in an ITU World Triathlon Series race with the fastest swim split of the women’s race in Auckland and looks primed to have a breakout season. Hirokatsu Tayama and Yuichi Hosoda are the top ranked Japanese athletes in the men’s race. A Japanese man has never won in Ishigaki, which both men will surely look to rectify this year.
Internationals Featured – Emma Jackson (AUS) is the top ranked international in the women’s field. Jackson will likely mix it up on the swim. If she stays in the lead pack on the bike, she will be tough to beat on the run. Tony Dodds (NZL) will be the man to beat, having already recorded a pair of podium finishes this year. Australian men have traditionally dominated in Ishigaki and rising Aussie star Ryan Fisher will attempt to join the list of winners as he is a strong competitor on the World Cup circuit. Teammate Dan Wilson, who finished second at the Mooloolaba Oceania Cup in March, will also be a factor on the swim and bike. France’s Grégory Rouault proved he has the speed this year with a win at the Geelong ITU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup.
PAST ISHIGAKI WINNERS:
2012 Kathy Tremblay (CAN) David Hauss (FRA)
2011 Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) Hunter Kemper (USA)
2010 Kiyomi Niwata (JPN) Valentin Meshcheryakov (RUS)
2009 Juri Ide (JPN) Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
2008 Emma Snowsill (AUS) Simon Whitfield (CAN)
2007 Vanessa Fernandes (POR) Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
2006 Debbie Tanner (NZL) Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
2005 Samantha Warriner (NZL) Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
2004 Maxine Seear (AUS) Bevan Docherty (NZL)
2003 Barb Lindquist (USA) Greg Bennett (AUS)
2002 Barb Lindquist (USA) Peter Robertson (AUS)
2001 Loretta Harrop (AUS) Ivan Rana (ESP)
2000 Rina Hill (AUS) Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
1999 Loretta Harrop (AUS) Greg Welch (AUS)
1998 Emma Carney (AUS) Greg Welch (AUS)
1997 Emma Carney (AUS) Chris McCormack (AUS)
1996 Emma Carney (AUS) Miles Stewart (AUS)