A new champion will be crowned at the 2014 Bridgetown ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup scheduled to take place April 27 on the Spring Garden Highway.
Edward Ince, who chaired a press briefing this morning at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), said the Pan American Triathlon Confederation (PATCO) had chosen Barbados once again to be one of the host nations for the series this year which would be much bigger due to the increase of participants compared to last year. He added it was unfortunate that defending champion Jason Wilson would not be defending his title due to a torn tendon in his knee.
“Last year we had 19 males and 11 females and now this year I think we are up to 29 males and 17 females, so we are growing and we have a wide cross-section of athletes from Australia, Italy, Belize, Mexico, Venezuela, United States and Canada,” Ince said.
Barbados has every intention of keeping the trophy on the island and they have chosen Matthew Wright who is a well known distance running and triathlon athlete to do the job in place of an injured Wilson.
Wright a former CARIFTA gold medallist said he got injured two years ago and still wasn’t fully recovered but would be looking to go out and represent his country on home soil in the competition which started in 2012.
“I have been injured for two years after tearing a tendon in my knee in September last year. So I am slowly building up and I would say I am 85 per cent there but I am definitely the fittest I have been in three years. I would love to win but there are some good guys racing but I am excited to finally come home and race in front my parents, friends and family. Obviously, with the Commonwealth Games being one of the key races for this year this is a stepping stone for qualification, so I came here to look to get some IQ points as I look to the Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016,” Wright said.
He also added that out of the three events in the triathlon which includes running, cycling and swimming, his strength was in running and he would be looking to use that to his advantage along with cycling. He will come up against the likes of Canadian Alexander Hinton and Jarrod Shoemaker from the United States who are well known triathlon athletes around the world.
The race begins this Sunday under the command of ITU certified race director, Adrian Sinckler, who will start of proceedings with the 3k open run which starts at 6a.m. with registration prior to that at 5 a.m. The sprint triathlon for elite women begins at 7 30a.m. and the elite men follow at 9 30 a.m. First place finisher receives US $750, second place $625 and third place collects US$500.
Ince said any one who wished to sign-up could do so at triathlonbarbados.com.