By Andrew Dewhurst on 08/05/15 at 8:33 am
Leading athletes gathered at the Hengda Hotel in Jintang for the elite athlete press conference ahead of tomorrow’s ITU Chengdu World Cup race. They were joined by Mr Jung Fang Jian, Operations Director for the LOC and Mrs Fu Min, Standing Member and Publicity Director for Jintang County.
In front of a large and eager media contingent, Mr Jung Fang Jian and Mrs Fu Min issued a warm welcome to the ITU family, the elite athletes and the more than 1,000 age group athletes gathering to compete in their events on Sunday.
Lisa Perterer (Austria) at 12th on the ITU points list is the top ranked athlete in the women’s field and has experience in Chengdu already, having finished 4th in the inaugural World Cup race at this venue last season.
“I came back this year because this is a really nice place for a triathlon, I enjoyed it – last year like this year will be very hot, I like to race in the heat, I was fourth last year, I hope I can go better this year. The venue is a great one for triathlon, the organization is very good and everything is working well.”
If an American woman is racing in an ITU event, you can be sure they will race with a target on their backs and so it will be for Jessica Broderick (USA) who flies the flag for the Americans amongst a total of seven in the race including Chelsea Burns, the latest to make an impression with a 9th place finish in Capetown WTS.
“It is an inspiring group, the American women performing at high level this year, bringing out the best in all of us, I am excited to be here and representing the USA,” said Broderick. “I came here last year for my first time to China, it is very different to anything I am used to but I came back, I have a lot of great memories here and to experience more of Chengdu and to have another crack at the race, I am enjoying it and it is a cool place.”
Lianyuan Wang (People’s Republic of China) is proud to be racing in her own country in an ITU World Cup race and hopes to put on a good performance as she did last year when finishing in the top ten.
“My goal is to attain a higher ranking and to compete well for my country and to race strongly in this race tomorrow. I was honoured to attain sixth place last year and hope to again race well.”
On the men’s side Ryan Sissons (New Zealand) has the honour of wearing #1 on race day, the number 24 ranked athlete on the ITU points list is targeting a good result but in the first instance it is about putting together a good performance as he continues to overhaul his swim stroke with longer term goals in mind.
“This course is really good how it is set out, the swim will be less rough to normal swims with a long first lap and shorter second lap. I have been working on my swim and hope I can be at the front on the weekend.”
Sissons was then asked about Joe Maloy (USA) who was sitting with him at the press conference.
“Joe will be hard to beat, he is here because he is a very good athlete, there are others in the field who are also very good, we will all look at each other to see who is feeling the best on the day, but Joe is definitely one of the best in the field. I hope to execute a good race, put together a good swim, bike and run and achieve a good result.”
Maloy will indeed be amongst the 76 men on the start list chasing a podium finish, the likeable American has never won an ITU World Cup race (best finish is 3rd at the 2014 ITU Cozumel World Cup) and admits that would be a nice prospect in the heat of Chengdu. He also sent a message to his mum Mary who will be watching results back home.
“To win the race is what any athlete who lines up tomorrow is trying to achieve, that is what I will try to do. Back in the USA it is Mother’s Day this weekend, I will have inspiration to compete thinking of my mum back home. My expectation is to go out and to do everything I can to win the race, I think there are a lot of different ways the race can unfold, my job is to prepare for every one of those scenarios and put in my best performance.”
Faquan Bai is the leading Chinese male in the race and like Lianyuan hopes to represent his country with great pride.
“As a Chinese athlete it is my honour to compete and honour all of the athletes. My goal is to rank higher and I want to compete in the Olympic Games in Brazil next year.”