By Paul Groves on 04/06/15 at 6:49 pm
Triathlon focus moves this weekend to Lithuania for the 2015 Kupiškis ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup. Situated in the north-eastern part of the country, this event has grown in popularity over the past few years. A great 750m lake swim, followed by 5 laps of 4k on the bike, where athletes will hit two sharp hills and one technical corner, along a fully closed route, the athletes will finish with a 5k run of 2 laps but which is quite a hilly challenge.
The course is ideal for juniors and has become a small festival for the nations who take part. There is even prize money. For those not racing in the junior wave, you can still enter the Open Baltic Triathlon Championship, which is over the standard distance. For full details, check the website.
17 women will take to the start line, representing 8 nations. This time we see a strong team from Israel, with Noam Fishman leading them in terms of ranking and having just celebrated her birthday. With her will be Yuval Gome. Both raced last weekend in Vienna, with Gome having the stronger performance, by virtue of her run pace.
Previous winners are not racing this year
Leading the ranking and from far over the water, comes Canadian athlete Emy Legault. She comes to this European event with some strong performances already and knows what it feels like to be on the podium. Consistently towards the top in the swim, she has only ever raced ETU at the Tiszaújváros event. Lithuania will welcome her. 4th last year and from Belarus, comes Tatsiana Luksha. Back in 2013 she placed 6th and after a quiet winter season, we may see further improvement. The 2014 ETU European Junior Aquathlon champion, from Poland, Aleksandra Sikora is racing too. Lithuanian interest will lie with their one athlete on the start list, Rimkutė Fausta.
The junior men will see 44 athletes on the beach for their spectacular start. 12 nations will be represented and once again it is the Israelis who will field the largest team. Indeed it is an athlete from Israel who will wear the top number. Omri Bahat had a great race in Melilla that gave him a top ten place. He will be disappointed with his performance in Vienna and will be hoping to put the ghosts to bed by keeping with the leaders on Sunday. His biggest threat will come from Mikita Katsianeu BLR, who had a great race last weekend in Vienna and a bronze medal to take home with him. With a 5th place in Vienna Ran Sagiv will be hoping to make up time and push for the podium. Having shown promise as a young and talented Age Group athlete, Timurs Mamedovs LAT will make the short journey over the border. 12th place in the 2014 Kitzbühel ETU Triathlon European Championships with good pace on the run could see him challenge. It is good to see movement from Age Group to the Elite stream. Leading Lithuanian athlete, Titas Pumputis will be coming to the race with the knowledge that he took silver in the 2014 national championships.
Important information for athletes, coaches and Team Mangers, “Race briefing for junior cup (II start) and ETU Baltic Championship (III start) is obligatory for all the athletes. In case you will not be able to attend the meeting, please contact our Technical Delegate Howard Vine - firstname.lastname@example.org (in English). The race briefing will take place on June 5 in Kupiškis cultural Centre (Gedimino str. 40).”
A big thank you to the sponsors for their support for this event. For full details, please see the LOC website
Find more details about this event - 2015 Kupiškis ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup