4 Irish triathletes will take part in the 4th round of the World Triathlon Series this Saturday as the global series touches down in London’s Hyde Park.
67 men and 66 women will do battle over a sprint distance course comprising of a 1-lap 750 meter swim, 4-lap 20km bike and 2-lap 5km run.
The men’s race is off first with Bryan Keane the top ranked Irish athlete, lining up 23rd on the starting pontoon. Just a few places to his left is Irish teammate Ben Shaw wearing number 26 and Conor Murphy wearing 36.
Keane has his sights set on a top 10 finish at a World Series race this season. “It’s something I know I’m capable of doing. It was there for me in the first race in Auckland.”
“The Olympic ranking process starts this year and I want to make sure I stay inside the top 20 in that and always be in control of my ranking. Qualification for the Games is over two years, so you have to be very consistent and make sure you don’t get injured, as missing races will cost you a huge amount.”
Ben Shaw was in good spirits in Dublin this week as he helped Triathlon Ireland launch a new sponsorship deal with Udo’s Choice. Shaw will base himself out of Dublin for the summer as he targets the European Championships and European based World Triathlon Series races.
“I’ve enjoyed the weather and the training up in the Wicklow Mountains and swimming at the National Aquatic Centre and being able to go to the institute of sport for any of the facilities I need there so it’s been really good so far.”
A front pack swimmer, 22 year old Shaw will be looking to get away with some of the sports fastest swim – bikers comeSaturday.
Conor Murphy has had mixed fortunes this season with a superb season opening 22nd place finish in Auckland, however suffered a disappointing DNF in Yokohama two weeks ago. The Armagh man will want to get the show back on the road with a good result here and open his Rio Olympic qualification points account.
In the women’s race Aileen Reid will line up wearing number 23. London will be Reid’s 3rd race back after an interrupted winters training thanks to a variety of niggling injuries, however she is back to business and impressing coaches with her return to racing.
Her opening 2 races, 16th in Cape Town and 22nd in Yokohama were described as “not a million miles away from where she needs to be” by Technical Director Tommy Evans.
The extra few weeks training should see her form continue to improve for this weekend and ultimately one of the major targets of the season, the Commonwealth Games in July.
The race once again contains a stacked field with 9 of the world’s top 10 in attendance in both the men’s and women’s field and an estimated 41 million people expected to tune in from across the globe.
The men’s race starts on Saturday at 2:30pm followed by the women’s race at 4:05pm. Watch all the action live from 2pm on BBC One or triathlonlive.tv