Athlete expectations leading into 2018 ITU Tongyeong World Cup

Athlete expectations leading into 2018 ITU Tongyeong World Cup

By Courtney Akrigg on 26/10/18 at 8:06 am

Tongyeong, South Korea, will set the scene for the 17th stop of the ITU World Cup tour of 2018 and the penultimate race of the season. The race destination boasts stunning harbour views where athletes will tackle a frantic sprint distance race this Saturday and it is a city that has been a fixture on the triathlon map since 2009, when it staged its first ITU World Triathlon Series race.

This weekend will see 67 elite men and 51 women line up in a bid for World Cup glory and we caught up with the top contenders to hear their expectations ahead of the race.

Marcel Walkington (AUS)
“I have been here for a couple of days now and I am really enjoying it. I like Asia as a region and I find it very interesting so to be here in Tongyeong is great. It’s a beautiful area and the course is quite tough. There’s no real flat sections on the bike and I know the run goes up a hill. It will be tricky but it should sort us out.”
“I always hope for the ideal situation of having a good swim and having a few of us away on the bike would be perfect. Who knows what will happen on race day. Everyone wants to have it their way so we will see.”

Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA)
“I am really enjoying being back training and racing and am not feeling any kind of pressure, I am just having fun. I have changed quite a lot of coaches over the years and since I had my break in May this year, I changed coaches again, so I hope this is the last one.”
“I saw the hill on the run and it looks very steep and that can really make the difference. I don’t know how I will approach it and if it will help me or not help me, I will see on race day.”

Russell White (IRL)
“I have finally just found some consistency and that’s helped. It’s a good hilly, strong course. I raced here once as an Olympic-distance and then as a sprint-distance. I think I will sit in, sit tough and try and see what I can get out of the race. If it comes down to a run, I am still confident that I have some good run form.”

Nicole Van Der Kaay (NZL)
“I love it here, the views are gorgeous. There’s a hill on the run so you have to be strong and I really like the course, I am looking forward to it.”
“I like to hit all three sections hard but I hopefully bang myself on the run. The hill here is sharp and it gets the legs alright.”

Renee Tomlin (USA)
“I am just learning what works for me, especially now after being in the sport for a couple of years and figuring out how I enter a race rested and not run down.”
“I am definitely excited for this weekend. It’s always great to come back to courses you’re familiar with and get into a routine. It’s a beautiful landscape. I am just really happy to be back here in Tongyeong. I have made a lot of changes, especially in terms of my approach to training. I have been surprising myself over the past few weeks and I don’t want to make any big jumps or leaps but it feels good to feel more like myself again as a competitor and out swimming, riding and running.”
“I think that’s the beauty of triathlon, every course is different and has something to offer. I think the hill here will be a piece that people will take advantage of and make moves in that area. As long as you’re strong-minded and a strong athlete, it’s probably going to be really interesting.”

Felix Duchampt (FRA)
“I had a really good beginning of the season and then I got a bit sick, a bit injured and it wasn’t such a good Summer, but now I am feeling really good and have had some good training - hopefully I will be ready on Saturday.”
“I really like this course. The bike is not so easy and the run has a hill. It suits me really well because I am light. Three years ago is a good memory of racing here so hopefully I will do better this weekend.”

The athletes racing as part of the ASICS World Triathlon Team 2018 and development program are:
Diana Marcela Castillo Franco (COL)
Kaidi Kivioja (EST)
Tuan Chun Chang (TPE)
Juan Jose Andrade Figueroa (ECU)
Gregory Ernest (MRI)
Marion Kim Mangrobang (PHI)
Jia Chi Kuo (TPE)

Review the 2018 elite men’s start list here
Review the 2018 elite women’s start list here

The Tongyeong World Cup gets underway on Saturday October 27, with the elite women taking the stage at 9.30am (2.30 am CET) and the elite men racing at 11.45 am (04.45 am CET).
Follow the action with live timing on triathlon.org/live and on Twitter @TriathlonLive with the hashtag #TongyeongWC

Find more details about this event - 2018 Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup