The ITU Triathlon World Cup Series will be at Ishigaki, Japan for round three of the series. For Ishigaki, it is its 15th time as a World Cup host. Located 250 kms east of Taiwan, Ishigaki will be the venue for the largest triathlon even in Japan.
Ishigaki’s residents are avid supporters of triathlons which as shown by thousands of locals welcoming the race with cheers and fanfare. After the race, star athletes of the events will entertain and interact with the local children sharing their love of the sport and visit schools as well.
On Sunday April 25 will be the kick off of both men and women’s categories of the elite’s races with the women set to start at 1:30pm local time. Juri Ide of Japan, last year’s winner, will not be racing due to plantar fasciitis. The absence of Ide does not affect the chances of Japan to score a win for the second time. Veteran winner Kiyomi Niwata is to lead the Japanese contingent who placed third in Ishigaki last year. Likewise, Mariko Adachi is at her best form after winning at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series opener in Sydney at fourth place a couple of weeks ago. Briton Liz Blatchford who took the third place at the Mooloolaba World Cup last month and placed 12th in Sydney is heading the international riders.
In the men’s category, the current reigning Asian champion Ryosuke Yamamoto and Kirokatsu Tayama who placed second to Yamamoto at the 2009 Asian Championships are vying for victory on their home ground. The Russians Valentin Meshcheryakov and Anton Chuchko are certain to spice up the races. They are most likely to pace the race at its very early stage as both are tough swimmers and bikers. Manuel Huerta, an American is looking for his second top-five World Cup after last weekend’s Monterrey World Cup in Mexico where he finished fifth. The men’s race will commence at 4pm local time.