The elite Irish triathlon squad is facing into their penultimate test of the 2015 season with Olympic hopeful Bryan Keane and rising star Russell White racing in Tongyeong, South Korea in the final ITU World Cup of the year.
Slightly closer to home, Con Doherty and Susanne Murphy will be racing in the Catania ETU European Cup which also doubles as the Mediterranean Championships just to make it that bit extra competitive.
Keane and White both raced in Turkey last weekend at the Alanya ITU World Cup with Keane finishing 16th to secure a good points haul which saw him jump five places on the ITU Points List to 50th position.
The Cork professional goes into Saturday’s race wearing number 11 with a finish inside the top 15 or better marking a positive step in his Olympic qualification campaign. The Russian Polyanskiy brothers are ranked one and two for the race and finished marginally ahead of Keane last weekend in 12th and 13th.
Keane said of his last outing “(It) was not my best race but after missing 10 weeks of running and 4 races through injury it was great to be back racing again.”
Teammate Russell White was 45th last time out and goes into Tongyeong ranked 63rd. The Banbridge man will be aiming to beat his starting number in order to continue his rise up the world rankings and break into the top 250.
At the Catania European Cup on the island of Sicily, Sprint Distance National Champion Con Doherty will line up for his first international race of the season. The Westport native, training in Wicklow, missed the early part of the season due to injury however returned with a bang as he claimed silver at the Standard Distance National Championships and gold over the Sprint Distance.
Doherty goes into his first senior elite international race ranked 47th from the 47 starters but will have his sights set far higher.
The women’s race features a small field of 16 athletes with Susanna Murphy wearing number 12. Murphy jumped 18 places in the world ranking after her 39th place finish at the Alanya World Cup, up to 333rd, but will be confident of improving upon that as she rounds out her first year racing at the elite level.