Under23 and Junior worlds on Friday

Under23 and Junior worlds on Friday

By ITU Admin on 28/08/07 at 12:00 am

World Championship weekend kicks off this Friday with the Junior and Under23 men’s and women’s categories.  The Junior division features a half-Olympic distance and has been part of the ITU world championships since 1991.  The Under23 category is the full Olympic distance and was first introduced in 2002.

Friday starts with more than 65 junior women from 27 countries will take the start line at 8:30am (all times CEST).  Last year’s bronze medalist Rebecca Robisch of Germany will look to take a step up on the podium while getting the home country started with a flourish.  Hollie Avil is a serious threat after having won the Junior European championships earlier this summer.  Others to watch are Canadian Paula Findlay, this year’s Junior Pan American champion, as well as Ukrainian Yuliya Yelistratova, who finished 4th in the elite women’s race at the Tiszaujvaros BG Triathlon World Cup two weeks ago.

A full field of 80 junior men will follow and all eyes will be on Britain’s Alistair Brownlee.  The defending junior world champ and this year’s junior European champ is the odds-on favourite to win it all this year.  If he does, he’ll become just the second junior man to repeat as world champion.  But he’ll face opposition from Aurélien Raphael of France, a bronze medalist from Gamagori in 2005 and last year’s junior European champion, and Joao Silva, this year’s junior European Duathlon champion.

The women’s Under23 race isn’t the largest field but it will be highly competitive and without a clear pre-race favourite.  Britain will have yet another serious threat for a world title with Rosie Clarke.  She’s coming off a victory at the Under23 European championships last month in Finland.  Camille Cierpik of France took the bronze at that event and will be eager to best Clarke here in Hamburg.  Swede Lisa Norden and Kimbeley Yap of Malaysia are both BG Scholarship athletes who have good experience at elite world cup races.

In the men’s Under23 field, Russian Alexander Brukhankov appears to be the overwhelming favourite but the big Russian has yet to win Junior or Under23 gold at a major race.  Last year in Lausanne he was runner-up to Brownlee, he was second to Raphael in the Junior European championships and this year he again settled for silver at the Under23 European champs.  Will Hamburg be the event for Brukhankov’s first big win?  He’s been on the world cup podium twice this year already so it’s clear he can race with the big boys.  Ritchie Nicholls, the man who topped him in Finland, will be among his prime challengers.

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