INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwis aim high at Ironman World Championships

Published: Tue 17 Oct 2006 05:23 PM
Kiwis aim high at Ironman World Championships
Five of New Zealand’s top triathletes are set to compete in the professional divisions of the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii this weekend [21 October].
Competing in the men’s professional division will be Cameron Brown and Bryan Rhodes. Kiwis Karyn Ballance, Yoko Hori and Joanna Lawn are also set to compete in the professional women’s division.
More than 100 international triathletes are expected to head off from the start line this Sunday in both the men’s and women’s professional events.
Another 30 New Zealanders will also compete in various age grade categories at the event.
Cameron Brown’s coach Brendon Cameron said Brown is a top contender for this year’s event, having finished second last year with a time of 8:19:36. Earlier this year, 34 year-old Brown also won the Ironman Germany, one of 26 events held throughout the year which allow athletes to qualify for the Ironman World Championships.
“Kona is a challenging course featuring a 3.8km swim, 180 km cycle and a 42 km run, and is often characterised by extreme weather conditions,” Cameron said.
“Brown had a near perfect race last year, achieving the second fastest run split of the day under extreme heat, proving that he is a performer in all weather conditions.
“Previous events that Brown has competed in at Kona have also been dogged by high winds, but he has always been able to deal with whatever weather conditions have been thrown at him on the day.”
Also expected to be a top contender in the women’s professional division this weekend is 32 year-old Joanna Lawn. She finished fourth in last year’s event with a time of 9.14.53.
Coach Chris Pilone said Lawn has had a near perfect build up to the event this year, after taking out the Quelle Roth Challenge event in July.
“Her preparation in the lead up to this weekend’s event has been really good,” Pilone said.
“After the Quelle Roth Lawn took a month off to recover before starting her training build up in Boulder, Colarado.
“She’s also spent three weeks in Kona acclimatising to the heat. “We’re expecting a good performance from her this weekend and definitely view her as a contender for a top spot this year.”
Live coverage of the Ironman World Championships will be available at http://ironman.com/ironmanlive/racedaycoverage/livecast.
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