Ireland will send a team of 56 to the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Chicago this weekend.
Aileen Reid leads the team as she competes in the ITU Grand Final which is set to take place on Friday,11pm Irish time.
Reid goes into the race ranked number 11 in the World Series having slipped 3 places following a disappointing performance in the previous round of the series in Edmonton, however with bonus points on offer for the Grand Final there is an opportunity to leapfrog up the rankings with a good result.
The Grand Final will be raced over the Standard Distance with athletes facing into a 2-lap 1500 metre swim in Monroe Harbour before transitioning onto dry land for a 9-lap 40 kilometre bike and 4-lap 10 kilometre run in downtown Chicago.
Speaking of the route, Reid commented “The course is interesting. It will likely be a wetsuit swim and can have big swells and choppy water like last year.”
“The bike route has plenty of turns which will be a factor in the race. Standing surges out of the 90 degree corners can take a toll on your running legs.”
The forecast for Friday in the windy city is rain, and while you may think that would suit the Derry native, Reid is actually hoping for the sun to come out.
“I hope the weather changes and is very hot as I’ve been training in California where it’s been 35 degrees.”
Asked about her target for the race Reid tells us “I would never target a finish position or look at my points in the series.”
“I can only do what I can do and to get the best swim, bike, run I break that down into what I need to do in each discipline to swim well, bike with the leaders and get the best out of my run.”
“I have boxes to tick and the finish position will take care of itself.”
Cork professional, Bryan Keane lines up alongside the top 76 elite male triathletes in the world as he looks to retain his world ranking inside the top 55.
Keane got his season off to a flying start with a 5th place finish at the Chengdu World Cup in China and a career best 13th at World Series level in Yokohama, Japan. More recently Keane opted out of a number of World Series events as he makes his way back from a running injury, but will be hoping for a strong return to racing this weekend.
Key for the 34 year old will be a good swim which would set him up nicely in one of the leading bike packs. Once there, Keane loves an honest bike course and a strength based 10 kilometre run.
At the head of affairs Spaniard Javier Gomez is chasing a record breaking 5th World Title but will have to contend with compatriot Mario Mola and French sprint specialist, Vincent Luis, who are both still in with a shout.
Along with senior elite representation, Ireland have a number of elite paratriathletes flying the flag.
Catherine Walsh and pilot Fran Meehan will be familiar names to many as the pair have Paralympic and World Championship medals in the sport of cycling to their names. The duo made the switch to paratriathlon earlier this year and have enjoyed a meteoric rise during their short triathlon career to date.
They line up in a field of 11 in the PT5 category with the race taking place at 1pm on Friday. Coming off the back of a podium finish at the Edmonton World Paratriathlon they will be hoping to take some more scalps at the World Championships as they continue their quest for Rio qualification points.
In the Men’s PT4 category, Aidan McGlynn lines up amongst a highly competitive field. The former Paralympic swimmer is ranked 28th in the world but has been steadily climbing the rankings as he targets qualification for the big show in Rio next year. McGlynn is coming off the back of two 5th place finishes at World Paratriathlon level and is in good spirits ahead of Friday’s showdown.
Along with the Elite participants, Triathlon Ireland has 40 Age Group athletes racing in the Standard Distance ITU World Triathlon Championships, 10 athletes racing over the Sprint Distance and a further 3 lining up in the swim-run, Aquathlon World Championships.
Team members have qualified to represent Ireland in the age group competition via their results on the domestic circuit over the previous season and include athletes ranging from the 20-24 years age group up to Desmond McHenry in the men’s 65-69 years age group.
McHenry picked up silver in the same age group at the 2014 World Championships beaten on that occasion by Peter Hoyt who makes the start line again.
Alan O’Brien, racing in the 30-34 years age group just missed out on a podium finish at the ETU Age Group European Triathlon Championships earlier this year but with a further training block under his belt he’ll be hoping to be in contention again, this time on the world stage.
Neil Cooper is the current 55-59 years European Aquathlon Champion and is set the take on the world’s best in Chicago this weekend as he bids to add the World title to his European one. Elizabeth O’Connor is another Irish representative to watch out for. O’Connor has finished on the podium at the European Duathlon Championships in the 50-54 years age group earlier this year and finished 14th at the European Triathlon Championships.
Watch the elite women’s race on triathlonlive.tv or the BBC Red Button on Friday 18th from 11pm and the elite men’s race on Saturday 19th from 11:30pm. Live streaming and timing from the Paratriathlon, Age Group and Aquathlon World Championships is available at www.triathlon.org/live
|Event||Last Name||First Name|
|Elite Women PT5||Walsh||Catherine|
|Elite Men PT4||McGlynn||Aidan|
|Elite Men PT5 Aquathlon||Dewalque||Nicolas|
AG Aquathlon World Championships
|Event||Last Name||First Name||City||Age Group|
|Aquathlon||Sugrue||Brian||Boston, MA||25-29 Male AG|
|Aquathlon||Cooper||Neil||Bangor, Co Down||55-59 Male AG|
|Aquathlon||Swenarton||Gary||Co Down||60-64 Male AG|
AG Sprint ITU World Triathlon Championships
AG Standard ITU World Triathlon Championships
|Last Name||First Name||City||Age Group|
|Heneghan||Michelle||Vancouver||25-29 Female AG|
|Walker||Emma||London||25-29 Female AG|
|Carey||Lorraine||Killala||35-39 Female AG|
|mc phillips||celine||Dunleer||35-39 Female AG|
|Sweeney||Eileen||Newcastle||35-39 Female AG|
|Neill||Adele||Cairncastle||40-44 Female AG|
|Sudway||Marie||Dublin 14||45-49 Female AG|
|O’Connor||Elizabeth||London||50-54 Female AG|
|Sugrue||Brian||Boston, MA||25-29 Male AG|
|Boylan||Johnny||Bristol||30-34 Male AG|
|Doherty||David||New York City, New York||30-34 Male AG|
|Marron||Eamon||Canada||30-34 Male AG|
|McCarron||Barry||Washington DC||30-34 Male AG|
|McGarry||Cormac||Belfast||30-34 Male AG|
|O’Brien||Alan||Killalee||30-34 Male AG|
|Byrne||Jonathan||New York||35-39 Male AG|
|Higgins||Mark||Illinois||35-39 Male AG|
|Niblock||Trevor||Ballinlough||35-39 Male AG|
|O’Donoghue||Declan||Killarney||35-39 Male AG|
|Yeates||Mark||Rathfarnham||35-39 Male AG|
|Conroy||Daniel||Stamford||40-44 Male AG|
|Conway||Alasdair||Claregalway||40-44 Male AG|
|Fanning||Nigel||Melboure||40-44 Male AG|
|Gallagher||Hugh||Letterkenny||40-44 Male AG|
|harrington||brian||clonakilty||40-44 Male AG|
|Owens||Padraig||Dublin 6||40-44 Male AG|
|Calvert||David||Co. Down||45-49 Male AG|
|Higgins||Noel||Clonlara||45-49 Male AG|
|Moore||Simon||Killiney||45-49 Male AG|
|O’Sullivan||Donagh||letterkenny, Donegal||45-49 Male AG|
|Cullen||Philip||Lexington, KY||50-54 Male AG|
|Hanratty||Bernard||Dublin||50-54 Male AG|
|McDermott||Harry||London||50-54 Male AG|
|Triggs||Howard||Kilkenny||50-54 Male AG|
|Cooper||Neil||Bangor, Co Down||55-59 Male AG|
|Power||Sheila||Wisconsin||55-59 Male AG|
|Rees||William||Glasgow||60-64 Male AG|
|Scott||Keith||belfast||60-64 Male AG|
|Swenarton||Gary||Co Down||60-64 Male AG|
|McHenry||Desmond||saintfield||65-69 Male AG|