By Paul Groves on 04/08/17 at 6:58 pm
The heat is on!
Indeed it is and this refers not only to the racing for U23 medals but also to the blazing sunshine that has pushed temperatures in central Europe up into the low 40’s. Only a couple of weeks ago it was edging towards “critical” in Tiszaújváros. Now we see the need to reduce the racing distance from standard to sprint for the U23 Championships as conditions in Velence, just south-west of Budapest, rises and rises.
Very wisely, the Medical Delegate, along with the Technical Delegate have sat down with the coaches and agreed that a shortened course, with more suitable start times would be the better option. With 200kg of ice being delivered, along with 6,000 bottles of water, showers on the run course and 4 aid stations per lap, this will be the best hydrated event ever!
No wetsuits then for the U23 Championships, which take place on Saturday and that is unlikely to change for the U23 Mixed Relays on Sunday.
A big team of athletes, coaches and officials have descended upon this resort and there is a seriously large start list for both U23 Men and Women.
Of the 17 nations represented, including a visiting athlete from Canada, we have wearing #2 Italy’s Verena Steinhauser. Her top ten finish on the tough Cagliari course and her bronze from Rabat shows her to be in good form. She will face a challenge from Spanish, Russian and British teams. Watch out for Camila Alonso Aradas ESP. Her end of season victory in Agadir, followed by a victory in March this year in Montevideo, along with a 5th in the Elite in Gran Canaria makes her a real threat to the Italian. Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown comes to this race with a superb victory in Madrid behind her following her silver in Quarteira and will want to get a medal, having missed out by one place in Cozumel. Joined by the younger Sian Rainsley, the two could work together and make some impact. The Russian athletes are strong. Both Ekaterina Matiukh and Anastasia Gorbunova can change a race. Ukraine’s Sofiya Pryyma comes to this race with gold and silver already in her possession and the ETU Cross Triathlon U23 title but having raced both events last weekend, she will have to recover quickly and race sensibly to get to the podium. It will be an exciting race in very tough conditions and the winner will truly deserve the title.
For the men, 21 nations, including Aruba, will be represented. Top of the rankings is Spain’s Antonio Serrat Seoane. Top ten places in Elite races this year in Madrid, Kitzbühel and Düsseldorf have primed him for this race but he will face stiff competition from Hungary’s Bence Bicsák who comes here race fit from Tiszaújváros, where he convincingly won the semi-final and the final of the World Cup. Calum Johnson and Sam Dickinson will work well and could make the podium.
It will naturally be fast and furious out there and you can check out the start list for the U23 Men here.
Follow the athletes by clicking this link, which should be active tomorrow.
Find more details about this event - 2017 Velence ETU U23 Triathlon European Championships