Current form and hopes for London 2012 were the focus at Friday’s official pre-race press conference for the Kitzbühel round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series.
Marisol Casado, the President of the International Triathlon Union was welcomed, along with Walter Zettinig, President of the Austrian Triathlon Federation and Manfred Bachmann, the event director. Also in attendance was Franz Klammer , representing Laureus, the official charity partner of the ITU. Klammer is a Laureus Academy Member and Olympic Champion, who dominated the world of downhill skiing in the mid-1970s.
On the focus around her in Kitzbühel:
“There’s a little bit of pressure, I was starting to get used the pressure a little more in Madrid, so I’m learning to manage it better and I try to approach the race the same as any other race and not get worked up with all of the media attention.”
On possibly becoming the most successful female in series race history:
“Every race that I have run so far has been a sprint finish and I’ve won by only a few seconds. In every race I do, I respect the other girls so much and I know it’s going to be a close race. I’m not dominating like the Brownlees, I’m not winning by minutes, so it’s always a really close race and they’re all really competitive.”
On her feeling of being an underdog:
“I’m starting to feel less like an underdog, but I certainly still feel star struck by a lot of the athletes that I race against and I respect them so much and I watched them at the Olympics and at the world championships on TV and now I get the opportunity to race them, so it’s definitely really cool and it’s fun for me to come to these events.”
On her future plans:
“Definitely my focus right now is the Olympics in 2012 and first I have to make the Canadian team which I haven’t done yet, so that’s my focus for this year and if I’m lucky enough to make the team, then next year will all be geared towards that race.”
On her competitor, Findlay:
“I think everyone goes into every race giving it their best and at the moment Paula is definitely setting the bar, so I guess she’s the one we’re all out there to beat at the weekend.”
On her recent form:
“Obviously I was pretty disappointed by the some of my recent results. I don’t want to be consistently coming 13th, but everything at training has been going really well so I can put everything together and have a good race and get into at least the top ten.”
On racing in Kitzbühel:
“The first time I came here in 2009 I had a good race and last year I was fifth. I always love coming to Kitzbühel, I think it’s one of the prettiest races we get to do and I love the small town feel to it, so I would love to get back on the podium and start afresh.”
On his race expectations:
“This course is not easy and similar to Emma (Moffatt) it was not so easy to get into the new season, the winter training was difficult, but I feel positive going into Kitzbühel. It’s going to be a hard race, but everyone has a chance because Jonathon (Brownlee) and Javier (Gomez) are not here. It will be a head to head race.”
On his future plans:
“The first step is to qualify for London 2012 and everyone who is competing at this level will be hoping for a medal there. In January, I will be 33, so it will be my last chance to compete in the Olympics and after London, I plan to stop professional sport and have children.”
On his triathlon career:
“I studied medicine, but my level in triathlon was getting high so I needed to concentrate on the sport. You can’t combine the two. It’s everything or nothing.”
On his hopes:
“To qualify for London 2012 is my main goal. I have been training with Darren Smith and I’m hoping for top 20 in Kitzbühel and also going for top-20 within the series.”
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The 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Kitzbühel gets underway with the men’s race at 14:30 on Saturday 18 June. The women’s race starts at 12:30 on Sunday June 18.