The thorny question of which British athletes will be going to Rio 2016 takes one step closer to being answered at the ETU European Cup race in Antalya, Turkey this weekend, with 13 Home Nations athletes competing for six slots at the Rio test event in August.
Britain’s major international medal winners have already secured their slots at the Rio test event (1-2 August). Jodie Stimpson, Non Stanford, Helen Jenkins and Vicky Holland are set to compete in the women’s race, whilst Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are set for the men’s event.
>>> Rio 2016 triathlon test events confirmed for August 2015
This weekend’s races will decide who takes the two remaining women’s places and the four spaces that are open in the men’s race. The highest placed British female medal winner in Antalya will be automatically selected, and the second slot will be decided by a panel next week.
The men’s race is more open with four slots available. The top two medal winners can secure their places, and the remaining two slots will be selected by a panel.
British athletes racing at Antalya ETU Triathlon European Cup (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run):
– Hannah Drewett – India Lee – Emma Pallant – Heather Sellars – Lucy Smith
– Gordon Benson – David Bishop – Thomas Bishop – Adam Bowden – Mark Buckingham – Matthew Sharp – Grant Sheldon – Philip Wolfe
The standard distance race in Antalya features a sea swim, and flat sea front bike and run courses. Five British women and eight men will start, with the women going off first on Sunday morning (3 May) followed by the men in the afternoon.
Emma Pallant demonstrated that she’s in good form by finishing in the top ten at the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town last Sunday. India Lee also showed good bike and run form with an elite bronze medal at the ETU Duathlon European Championships in Spain last weekend.
In the men’s race, Adam Bowden is the top ranked athlete in the field with Tom Bishop second. Bowden is starting his season, whilst Bishop has the confidence of having had a great ITU World Triathlon Series race in Auckland. Gordon Benson comes in having won the previous ETU European Cup event in Melillia, Spain, two weeks ago.
British Triathlon Performance Director, Brendan Purcell, explained: “We place a great emphasis on the ability to perform under pressure on a given day, so we hope to see some great racing this weekend with the big incentive of going to Rio in August.”
He added: “In previous test events the results have given a strong indication of who might feature at the Olympic Games a year later. It’s an exciting opportunity to be part of that, and I’m looking forward to seeing who puts their hands up this weekend.”
(Images: Dag Oliver)
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