By Chelsea White on 02/11/17 at 11:58 am
As the countdown continues before Miyazaki becomes the stage to host the 15th and final ITU world cup race of 2017, all preparations are taking place for the event. Which of course means one last press conference for some of the elite men and women. So Japanese athletes Ai Ueda and Makoto Odakura, along with Summer Cook (USA) and Andreas Schilling (DEN) took some time from their training to chat with the local media.
Here is what they said ahead of Saturday’s race.
On how she feels ahead of the race:
“I had a bike accident during training camp in July and got a clavicle fracture. Since then I have been working with some rehabilitation workouts in order to get back to my full performance.”
On lining up against Summer Cook:
“For this race, I would like to repeat the win here in Miyazaki. I see Summer has been developing/ building her total strength and has made progress in training. She is a good sprinter but I have confidence in my racing against her to win the race, so I will do my best.”
How do you like racing in Miyazaki?
I like Miyazaki City. I am always glad to be back and having local supporters here. I assume that competing in World Cup in Japan is something special to me and all Japanese athletes. To be the host country means that we have an advantage of having a lot of spectators who are cheering for me. I am happy to race in warm weather conditions even though it is already in November. I hope we will have hot weather on the race day, preferably, with a lot of humidity which European/foreigners tend to dislike. I look forward to the race.”
Are you looking forward to the race?
“Firstly, I would like to thank the local organizing committee and those who are supporting the event to make it possible even though Miyazaki City has a damage due to the typhoon last weekend. I went to ride and run on the course today and the courses have already totally cleaned up from the damages. This World Cup will be my 21st race this year. Since I joined the current team, Mitsuisumitomo Insurance Ltd, after graduating university, I have done many training camps and races and gaining valuable experiences.”
What is your race goal?
“My goal for this race is keeping up with Aurelien Raphael (FRA) and to finish in 8th overall. I look forward to racing and ending the season in Miyazaki.”
About racing Saturday and competing again Ai Ueda:
“I am really looking forward to racing on Saturday. I hope to switch the pattern from last year where I took the title in Tongyeong and Ai (Ueda) took the title here, but I am looking forward to a good battle no matter what the outcome. I would be very happy to end up on the podium.”
Are you happy about how your 2017 season?
“I am pretty happy with my season this year. I made some progress and I feel like I was finally able to put together some strong results. I have seen a lot of progress in my training in the first part of the season, but it didn’t show up in my results until about July or August. So I am really looking forward to getting some momentum this weekend and get myself set up for next year and the rest of the quad cycle going into Tokyo.”
How has your season been?
“I have had a great season I think, especially on the World Triathlon Series circuit. I had a great result here in Yokohama, my best result of the year, a result I am very happy with.”
On why he chose to race in Miyazaki:
“I came here to both Tongyeong and Miyazaki to finish off the season in a good way and I had a decent result last week, but I am hoping to do even better this week. I want to get all the experiences that I can racing in Japan before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, so that is one of the reasons that I am here this week.”