Ireland will have a strong presence at the European Triathlon Championships in Kitzbuhel this weekend with 5 elite athletes competing in Saturday’s events along with a team of 34 Age Group athletes. None
Ben Shaw goes into the elite men’s race as the top ranked Irish man wearing number 16 but will be hopeful of a top 10 result or better. The 22 year old has posted some fantastic results in the World Triathlon Series this season and is currently ranked 32th in the world.
He’s also notched up a Continental Cup win when he swam, biked and ran his way onto the top spot in China at the end of April. On that occasion he finished it all off with an impressive 31:04 10 kilometre run, a repeat of which would put him in the mix this weekend.
Just last week Shaw also claimed the Triathlon Ireland Sprint Distance National Championships where he set a new course record of 54:08 for the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run on the Crooked Lake Triathlon course.
After the race he commented. “I just ran hard all the way to the line. It was a good hit out before the European Championships.”
Armagh native Conor Murphy will be another man to watch this weekend, He goes into the European Championships ranked 30th on the starting pontoon but will be buoyed by his selection to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.
Murphy has also just recently moved to a new training group headed up by Darren Smith and will be clocking up the miles alongside a group of World Class athletes which also includes Irish teammate Aileen Reid.
Russell White was also recently selected for the Commonwealth Games and Kitzbuhel will form a key part of his preparation for the event on July 24th. The Banbridge athlete has had a big year in 2014 making his debut on the World Triathlon Series where he finished a creditable 48th in Yokohama in mid-May.
With his studies on hold as he dedicates himself to fulltime training, the European Championships will be the ideal opportunity to showcase his talent and reap the benefits of his dedication to training.
The Junior Men’s event will see the Westport duo of Con Doherty and Aichlinn O’Reilly take to the start line alongside 75 of the top 16 – 19 year olds in Europe.
As a Junior World Triathlon Bronze medallist, Junior Cross World Triathlon Silver medallist and 2013 Junior European Cup winner, the 18 year old will be eyeing up another podium place. He has proven already this season that he has to run speed to medal, the challenge will be making that lead pack after the 750 meter swim or working his way to the front of the race after the 20 kilometre bike leg.
For O’Reilly this will be his first international race of the season and a perfect opportunity to put the hard training into practice and continue to gain experience in elite draft legal racing.
The Junior Men’s race starts on Saturday at 12noon Irish time with the Elite Men’s race starting at 2pm. Follow the action via Live Stream on youtube or on twitter at @ETUtriathlon
Articl taken from Triathlon Ireland.