By Paul Groves on 01/08/14 at 1:57 pm
ETU Triathlon European Cup – saved by the LOC. Race postponed to Monday.
Istanbul; the place where two continents meet and where athletes from 18 countries and from 4 continents will meet and race this city course. Great credit must be given to LOC for having the courage to stage an international triathlon in this amazing city and big thanks to the City Authorities for their tremendous support. We all know that the Turkish Federation can put on a good show but racing in Istanbul really is something you should try.
This weekend was to see the third edition of this race but literally at the eleventh hour the city authorities notified the LOC of an important event that would effectively block part of the course. With mass attendance of the public, it looked as if the LOC would have to cancel the race but, with great determination the LOC, led by Alp Iskin, has moved heaven and earth and has re-scheduled the event for Monday in the Sprint format.
As this is such a late change it has been confirmed that the LOC will cover the extra costs of accommodation and rearrangement of flights of the athletes.
The athletes and their National Federations are invited to search for a flight on Monday that departs after 15:00 but are requested to get approval from the LOC prior to booking. All National Federations have been sent contact details.
A person from the LOC will have the dedicated role of dealing with all re-arrangements of the flights on site.
So, having literally saved the day we can turn now to the race. Gone are the previous winners of the women’s’ races. Germany’s Kathrin Müller, who won in 2012 has been racing the cross events recently. Russia’s Alexandra Razarenova has already had a podium in Turkey when she took bronze in Antalya and recently raced the ITU World Cup event in Jiayuguan, where she took 11th. Gone too is the French athlete Aurélien Lebrun who placed 4th last weekend in Banyoles and 8th the weekend before in the Geneva Test Event. Back to back racing over two weeks may be OK but he has not chosen to make it three in a row, even though he has won the men’s event here twice.
The door to the podium is open and as we look at the start list we see that Ukraine is sending Yuliya Yelistratova, Oleksandra Stepanenko and Roksolana Ishchuk and team mates Danylo Sapunov and Yegor Martynenko. They have been racing steadily over the recent months following a five month training camp shared with the Russian athletes in the warmth of Cyprus. The heat of Istanbul will be quite welcome to them.
A strong presence in the women’s race comes from the previous winners of the Istanbul Triathlon Junior European Cup. All three medallists, Zsannett Horvath from Hungary, Ipek Oztosun from Turkey and Belgium’s Mégane Van Steenwinckel will step up a category and be hoping to make their mark.
In the men’s race is one athlete who knows he can challenge the Ukrainians. Pedro Palma, from Portugal had a great battle with Martynenko in Kyiv to snatch the gold in the last few hundred metres. Sam Osborne, from New Zealand, has good pace on the bike and run and might also intrude upon a European medal haul on the podium and the ITU’s own development athlete from Serbia, Ognjen Stojanović, with his speed in the water and on the bike, will be hoping to pop in a fast run.
So, update your diary. The race will take place on Monday 4th August;
- The races will change from Olympic Distance to Sprint Distance;
- Start time for Elite Women at 08:30.
- Start time for Elite Men at 10:00;
- Award Ceremony will take place immediately after the finish of the first 3 men.
The course map can be found here.