Challenge Bahrain has attracted perhaps the greatest line up of world-class athletes ever seen over the half distance. They will be racing for the $500,000 USD prize purse, the largest in the world over the 1.9km/90km/21km distance. Among the Canadian contingent set to race are Angela Naeth and Jeff Symonds.
The women’s race will see three of the best women on the ITU circuit – Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Erin Densham (AUS) and Nicky Samuels (NZ), all making their long course debut at Challenge Bahrain on December 6. Dual Commonwealth Games champion Jodie Stimpson has had been one of the standouts in the World Triathlon Series this season, winning in Auckland and Cape Town and finishing 4th in the ITU world rankings.
“I am really excited about it and extremely nervous as well, but will be a fun challenge,” said Stimpson. “This is amazing, to have such stacked fields both from ITU and longer distance athletes.”
She adds, “Even though I race against the ITU athletes all the time, I don’t get to race against them in this form, so that’s exciting . . .I have such respect for the longer distance girls as well, so will be fantastic to be on the start line with them.”
Olympic bronze medallist Densham has been sidelined for most of 18 months, but following a break, she recently finished second at a sprint race in Las Vegas.
“The longest race I have ever done before is an Xterra that took roughly three hours. I think I am completely crazy for signing up for this but I can really use this time to get some good base work in for 2015. I’ve got nothing to lose,” said Densham.
Densham acknowledges the difficulty in switching disciplines.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of trying something different and completely out of my comfort zone. I’m also totally freaked out to be quite honest. The distance, the competition, the unknown.
“But in light if all that, I have never been to Bahrain and I’m really looking forward to being able to experience a new part of the world and a new culture,” said Densham.
Samuels is one of New Zealand’s best athletes, the London Olympian is the current Xterra World Champion, and produced some of her best career results in 2014.
“I’ve never been to Dubai let alone Bahrain so it will be exciting to go there, although a long way from NZ it will be worth the big trip. . . The race course sounds amazing, I can’t wait to be apart of it,” said Samuels.
For further information and entries visit www.Challenge-Bahrain.com.bh.
The pro field also includes the following athletes:
Men – Pete Jacobs (AUS), Dirk Bockel (LUX), Sebastian Kienle (GER), Tim Berkel (AUS), Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), Timo Bracht (GER), Tyler Butterfield (USA), Frederik Croneborg (SWE), James Cunnama (RSA), Bevan Docherty (NZL), Tim Don (USA), Michael Dreitz (GER), Jan Frodeno (GER), Nils Frommhold (GER), Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS), Eneko Llanos (ESP), Chris McCormack (AUS), Luke McKenzie (AUS), Dylan McNeice (NZL), Tim O’Donnell (USA), Rasmus Petreaus (DEN), Michael Raelert (GER).
Women – Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), Rachel Joyce (GBR), Caroline Steffen (SUI), Nikki Butterfield (USA), Leanda Cave (GBR), Erin Densham (AUS), Mary Beth Ellis (USA), Helle Frederikson (DEN), Lucy Gossage (GBR), Sarah Haskins (USA), Heather Jackson (USA), Rebekah Keat (AUS), Meredith Kessler (USA), Carrie Lester (AUS), Annabel Luxford (AUS), Michelle Vesterby (DEN), Radka Vodickova (CZE), Laurel Wassner (USA).