By Andrew Dewhurst on 14/05/15 at 6:53 am
Yokohama hosts an ITU World Series race for the 6th time with round five of the 2015 World Triathlon Series this Saturday May 16 and the elite athletes gathered today at the Monterey Hotel bordering the race venue at Yamashita Park for the press conference to preview the action.
Javier Gomez Noya (Spain), Alistair Brownlee (Great Britain), Yuichi Hosoda (Japan), Gwen Jorgensen (USA), Andrea Hewitt (New Zealand) and Ai Ueda (Japan) gathered in front of a large media contingent to preview the race, here are the highlights.
When questioned on being here in Japan, their goals for the event and general physical condition and preparedness:
“This is my fourth year here, I always look forward to what is one of my favourite spots on the WTS, I sat out the last race in Cape Town so I am excited to be here and look forward to some fast racing.”
“I sat out the last WTS in Cape Town so I am well prepared for this race. I am excited to be here in Japan, I love coming here to race, I have been here many times and have had good results, I look forward to racing again in front of big crowds and getting a good result.”
“Despite the height difference with Gwen and the power, I was close last year with second in Yokohama. I am hoping to have everyone enjoy these experiences and triathlons here in Japan, so if I can push myself harder for the spectators to enjoy triathlon as a sport, that is my goal again this year.”
“This is only my second time here and it was not great for me last year, so hopefully this time is a little better. I understand this is always a good, fair and hard race, I am just looking forward to Saturday and hopefully a good result.”
“It is great to be back in Japan for my 4th or 5th time here. It is always a fast race on a fast course, it is a technical bike, lots of corners, expecting rain it might be interesting and tough, I am happy to be back. I t is always a good race and I am looking forward to having a good day on Saturday.”
“Yokohama is a memorable race for me, my 6th time here, first was the 150th anniversary of Yokohama. As the others have said, this is very speedy race, I will do my best to keep up with them, it is always an honor to have them here and I will do my best to keep up and leave a good record here for Japan.”
The athletes were then asked for their impressions of Yokohama and more detail on the course:
“I love coming to Japan, the culture is nice to be a part of an experience, everyone is welcoming and cheering for us on race day, it is a great atmosphere and I am looking forward to racing this weekend.”
“I love coming here because it is very different to everywhere else I go. The course is very flat, fast with some corners but definitely not too technical. It will make it more interesting on Saturday if it rains as people will have to take more care on the cornering.”
Last year was the second win in Yokohama for Jorgensen, so what plans do the others have to try and stop Gwen from winning and what plans does Gwen have to keep the winning record going?
“I can only control my own race, I will be swimming, biking running as fast as I can, and seeing what the other girls can do. Hopefully the race will be different to the first three this year and we can beat Gwen!”
“The first year I actually came out of the water 10th or 12th and was not the fastest runner. All I can do on race day is execute and focus on my swim, bike and run, I can’t control the others though, I know they are lining up to do the best they can and so am I, I know that it will be a very fast race.”
“It is always hard to keep up with Gwen on the run, so this year I will try to push further and maximize the gap at the start of the run and stay close if I can.”
Find more details about this event - 2015 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama