With athletes from 28 nations now filling the hotels, checking the venue and taking impressive photos of themselves and the stunning surroundings, Kazan is now transforming into “Triathlon Central” for the weekend. Click here to watch the video. (Turn up the sound!)
Already known as the “Sports Capital of Russia” this ancient city will play host to the 2019 Ironstar ETU Sprint Triathlon European Championships over Saturday and Sunday. The organisers are promising a great event and, having seen the top quality race that they put on in 2016 in Sochi for the ETU Cup Final, an event that was short-listed for the best event of the year, there is strength and depth there.
The Russian Triathlon Federation, led by its President, Peter Ivanov, also hosted a course for Technical Officials, who will, with an established and strong team, led by Alpár Nagy (HUN) and Peter Klósz (ROU), ensure fair play.
ETU President, Renato Bertrandi will be present. “This weekend Elite and Age-Group medals will be presented to athletes at the ETU Ironstar Kazan Sprint Triathlon European Championships. I am delighted to see 28 nations represented on the start lists and am really looking forwards to the Parade of Nations and Opening Ceremony on Friday, which will take place on the promenade that runs along the Kazanka River.
With international triathlon returning to Russia and with so many Age Group athletes ready to race a course that is dominated by the massive walls of the Kremlin and stunning skyline, I am sure that there will be many special photos of this city, the “Third Capital” of Russia, shared on the various Social Media platforms.”
As pointed out by our President, this weekend is not only for the Elite. There will be draft-legal racing for the many Age-Group athletes, aged from 16 right up to 84. Alongside the European Championships, there will be a variety of Open Races for adults and children, with athletes coming from as far away as Japan. In total, the organisers expect approximately 2,000 athletes to be in Kazan this weekend.
A check of the water temperature over the past few days suggests that it might possibly be a non-wetsuit swim for both the Elite and Age-Group athletes but that decision will be made by the Head Referee, Raquel González (ESP) and communicated one hour before the race starts each day.
15 nations are represented in the Elite Women’s field. Of course, there are strong athletes from Russia but also from visiting nations.
Leading them out onto the pontoon will be Russia’s Alexandra Razarenova. Two golds to close the account last year, in Weert and in Funchal, she has started 2019 with a silver medal at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup and at the Tartu ETU Triathlon European Cup and Baltic Championships. With her strong pace over the final run and with the home advantage, the 2011 and 2012 ETU U23 Champion is a clear favourite.
She will face a stiff challenge from Ireland’s Carolyn Hayes. So far this year she has claimed victory at the Durban Triathlon Premium African Cup and collected silver medals at the Nur-Sultan ITU Triathlon World Cup, the Yasmine Hammamet Sprint Triathlon African Cup and at the Rabat Triathlon African Cup. A bronze at the 2019 Troutbeck Sprint Triathlon African Cup and a strong finish in Weert shows that she is certainly one to watch out for.
Switzerland’s Julie Derron, the reigning ETU U23 Champion, will want to show the older athletes how strong she is we cannot rule out a podium appearance from Anastasia Abrosimova, who was the 2017 ETU Rankings winner.
With a nail-biting finish in the recent Cholpon-Ata Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup that saw Kseniia Levkovska AZE take the win ahead of Antoanela Manac ROU and with both of them locked in a battle for Tokyo points, we can expect to see close quarter racing from this pair too.
For the men, it will be Con Doherty IRL who will lead them out onto the pontoon for the start. With a gold this year at the 2019 Gold Coast Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup and in 2018 a top five finish in Tartu at the Standard Distance Triathlon Championships, he is certainly a great hope for Ireland. Some of the familiar names from the WTS series are missing but the home crowds will be shouting their support for Igor Polyanskiy and for the newly-crowned European Middle Distance Triathlon Champion, Andrey Bryukhankov. For him, it will be a big ask, to now perform flat out over this sprint distance but his pedigree suggests he could feature at the top end of the race.
Keep your eyes on Sam Dickinson GBR and Rostislav Pevtsov AZE. Both have performed well recently, with Dickinson claiming the win in Tartu after a solo breakaway on the bike. Pevtsov’s world Aquathlon title, won in Pontevedra recently shows that his swim and run pace is strong and his battle over this distance in Dnipro recently was epic and one that ultimately denied him a gold. He will be wanting this title more than most. If Gordon Benson GBR can replicate the run he had in Cagliari, when he outpaced everyone to make up ground off the bike, then the podium is within his reach too.
Coming to the race as ten-times Balkan Champion, Serbia’s Ognjen Stojanović has marked up two early season victories at Shymkent and Cholpon-Ata and as reigning European Aquathlon Champion, will be confident enough to be thinking about a podium place on Saturday.
The event will be streamed live by the Organisers. Click the ETU Live tab to watch the race.
We expect to see many spectators lining the course, as the Age Group race is due to take place on the Sunday. Amongst them are defending European Champions and many who are racing for the first time for their country. First to arrive at the main hotel were Izzy Rayner and David Pearson.
Pearson comes in the hope that he can upgrade his Glasgow silver and having shown improved power in both Ibiza and Târgu Mureș, where he won the Sprint Duathlon on both occasions with impressive riding, he looks set for another medal. For Rayner, each race she enters seems to take her closer to the podium.
The Age-Group athletes get a real city tour and will have a chance to enjoy much more of Kazan than the Elite, who will be racing a tight, city-centre course.
With athletes racing across the Age Groups we are expecting a real party at the Medal Ceremony. The host nation has entered many athletes who will for the first time have the chance to race against others from outside Russia. Well-known on the domestic circuit, they are largely an unknown element. No doubt many will be delighted with medals on Sunday afternoon.
The LOC have really thrown themselves into making this a great event. Last night, gone midnight, we were making our way back to the hotel along the bike course as the authorities were resurfacing the main section that circles the Kremlin. The new surface is smooth, fast and top-quality. Just like our athletes. Check the ETU Facebook page for the video.
Related Event: 2019 Kazan ETU Sprint Triathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Men|
|8.||Jordi García Gracia||ESP||00:53:07|
|Results: Elite Women|
|3.||Tamara Gomez Garrido||ESP||00:59:23|
|Results: 16-19 Female AG|
|Results: 20-24 Female AG|
|Results: 20-24 Male AG|
|10.||David Fryer Winder||GBR||01:08:52|