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photo: London 2012
USA Triathlon Looks Ahead to London Olympics 2 Years Out
London hosted one of Europe's largest triathlons in Hyde Park this past weekend in preparation for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, which will be held July 27 to Aug. 12, 2012. More than 3,000 athletes took part in the ITU World Championship Series event, including 130 of the world’s best elite triathletes. Twelve U.S. elite athletes were in action in London, including top-ranked American and 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker, who finished seventh in last weekend’s preview of the 2012 venue.
“It is extremely important to know where we will be racing in 2012, not only knowing the race venue, but also the surrounding areas,” said Shoemaker, who is currently ranked sixth in the world and will look to qualify for his second Olympics in London. “Hyde Park is a great place and is always full of people running, walking and biking.”
According to ITU, more than a quarter of a million spectators lined the roads of London to watch last weekend’s event. “Hyde Park offers the ideal venue to host an event of the magnitude of the Olympic Triathlon,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “The course is very spectator friendly and will no doubt make the event one of the most memorable events of the 2012 Games. We’re very excited to return to London in 2011 to test the same course set for the Olympic Games, which runs around Hyde Park.”
In 2012, triathlon will make its fourth appearance in the Games, having made its debut at the 2000 Games in Sydney. The London event will feature the top 55 athletes in both the men’s and women’s fields. Visit london2012.com for more on the Games.
Triathlon is anticipated to be one of the most exciting events of the Games, and also one of the most accessible with Londoners being able to watch the event for free.
With such an exciting event just two years out, Shoemaker and the other top Americans are aiming for a breakout performance in London. The U.S. is the only nation to qualify the maximum number of competitors – three men and three women – in each Olympic triathlon. Susan Williams captured the 2004 bronze, and Team USA will look to add to that total in London.
“I am excited moving into the last two years of the 2012 Olympic cycle. Going into 2008, I was a newbie and working my way up the ladder, and at this point I am working every day to try and win a medal for the U.S.,” said Shoemaker. “I don’t want to walk away from London knowing that there was something else I could have done to put myself on the podium.”
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – one of the fastest growing sports in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 3,100 races and connects with more than 133,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games.