By Chelsea White on 23/04/15 at 5:13 pm
The World Triathlon Series returns to Cape Town, South Africa for only the second time in what will be the fourth stop of the circuit. Today some of the athletes took the time to meet with the local media. Below are some of the things they had to say.
Henri Schoeman (RSA)
On getting back into the top ten this year going into Sunday
It is good to back in the top ten again. I had some trouble last year in 2014, but it is great to be back. It is always great to be a part of a breakaway amongst some of the best in the world. I try to give it my best on the bike with the hope to keep the breakaway going. I have been working on my running, it has been my weak point—it has come a long way from when I first started and it is looking good this year. I am looking forward to keep going this year and staying in the top ten.
On racing on home soil
I have had four weeks since Auckland, I came straight back right after that race to come home and prepare for the Cape Town race. And preparation has gone really well, I am really looking forward to racing on Sunday.
Richard Murray (RSA)
On it being a privilege to race at home in South Africa
Yeah, I think the one biggest thing I notice when I get home is the support is tenfold much better at the events. I have family, friends and a lot of people I know that actually stand there as we get led up to the start point. I would say that that is a little bit of a daunting task at times, but it is a privilege as well. I am very glad that the race has made its way to Cape Town and I hope it is going to grow and grow each year and get bigger.
On the pressure to get on the podium to represent South Africa
Yeah I think that is an interesting one, you can only control when you are there what you can control so on the day anything can happen. But it is definitely a goal to come up on that podium and to hear a South African national anthem in South Africa, which would be a great one. With the guys, we have a consistency of South African triathletes coming through, so it is just a matter of time before we get three slots someday, maybe at a major Games or something so I am definitely looking forward to being a part of it and moving forward on that front.
Mario Mola (ESP)
On getting another first place finish on Sunday
Well we will see. That question has a tough answer because it takes a lot of energy from me. Hopefully as I have done in the past races I will just try to do my best. As Richard said you control what you do and we will see how the race starts and what we can do on Sunday.
On the different race dynamic with Alistair being back
We know that Alistair, Jonny and Javier have been dominating podiums for the last year so for sure having Alistair in the race on Sunday makes a big change. But as I said we know what they can do and we will try to do our best to be as close to them and if we can beat them then for sure that is what we will try to do.
Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
On being a veteran and whether this is a test event or a showcase of full strength
Well first is seems crazy to be referred to as a veteran. I mean I woke up this morning at 27 and looks like I’m at my 27th comeback as well. It goes very quickly that you go from being one of the young guys doing well to a veteran of the sport—so that is good. I actually had a great winter of training up until right before Abu Dhabi, where I decided not to travel there. But the last four weeks of training have been good. I am not particularly always that sharp in the first race of the year but hopefully I have a bit of training and freshness on my side, so you can just come out and see.
On triathlon’s growth
I think triathlon in the UK has changed incredibly in the last ten years. I mean now I get stopped in the street by people who are watching the WTS and wonder where I am going next and they follow the races and even travel to come watch so I think it is definitely having an effect on triathlon. And while I am not in the race yet so I probably should not speak too soon but I definitely recommend traveling anywhere you can to go to see or even compete in a triathlon.
Katie Zaferes (USA)
On winning Saturday
Just like Mario was saying I will try my best and I really hope to be on the podium again. To get the No. 1 would be spectacular and a first for me for sure, so yeah I am going for it. I mean I am fairly new to the sport but I think that over the last three years that I have been doing it, it has changed quite a bit. The swim pack is getting more give in the race. We can get a minute and a half to two minute gaps in some of these races so I think it just depends on who is racing or who is going to take the win, but we will see what happens.
On what she learned from last year
You definitely learn something just by being in the area, like obviously the water is cold and we had a one-lap swim last year for the women so depending on what happens this year with the water temps, maybe we will have a two-lap, which I think would be more beneficial for me as an athlete. I didn’t get very far on the bike ride, well actually I did just not at a very fast pace, so I got to see it as I took my time, but it changes between the bike course and the run course. I will be more interested to see tomorrow when we get to see the race previews.
Mari Rabie (RSA)
On it being beneficial that she balances work with triathlon training
I think I am a pretty injury-prone athlete and just looking back over my career, I have raced triathlon since I was 15, I always did the best when I was actually studying and not doing it full time. So the combination of working and training is working well, but then you do come late for a press conference every now and then.
On way WTS Cape Town will raise the awareness of the sport in South Africa
I think there was quite a bit of drive, especially with this race to get the schools in the area involved. I think when you look at South Africa, in the schools kids are already competitive swimmers and competitive runners who are now looking at triathlon as their main sport at quite a young age. So this specifically, ITU World Series, plays a big role when you have school kids, to even my dad is racing on Sunday, so people from all life phases racing and also the awareness building up the month towards this race has been great, not only for the sport in South Africa but also great for the Series.
Find more details about this event - 2015 ITU World Triathlon Cape Town