The Challenge Bahrain press conference previewed some of triathlon royalty today at the Crown Plaza.
The line up included a collection of long and short course champions who shared their thoughts on their form, the Challenge Bahrain experience and tips who they think might take the titles.
Was it hard to stay motivated this late in the season
“Was hard to stay motivated after Kona, it’s always a whirlwind of activity with such a win including a lot of travel – I’m going to try my best but I’m not sure my best will be enough for this one.”
Tips: Tim Don and Michael Raelert
“Tim Don is a threat, he is not over raced, and Michael is very hungry – for me those are my two favourites, besides myself.”
On returning to racing after a difficult year
“I’m proud to be here and really happy after injury and along periods of not doing triathlon, I figured out what is important to me. I am so excited to race against these guys and deeply happy to be racing again. It means a lot to me personally and happy to be back at Challenge Family.”
“The best ever field that ever competed in triathlon and I can really say that after competing for 25 years.
“I’m not going to pick any names – everyone who takes it seriously will be a danger and I’m really happy to be hear, I just want to say thanks to Challenge, what you do for us is amazing and isn’t seen anywhere else in the world.”
“Kona wasn’t the end of the road for me – I’ve had more fun ever preparing for this race. Kona is not the last race of the year for me. I am really fired up. I’ve given it my best to be a major factor. I think we’ll see on Saturday but I’m not in bad shape.”
Tips: Helle Frederikson and Annabel Luxford
“Helle has focused on this race, Bella (Annabel) has come off a couple of wins in Australia. The ITU girls will suit this fast course but for me, top 10 would be amazing.”
“I’m not known for my pacing in Olympic distance so this is going to be a challenge. After the Commonwealths I was quite drained but it’s been nice to do my first half distance – it’s definitely going to be a challenge at the weekend – these girls aren’t going to take it easy on me.
“It’s great to be here to share the hotel with the idols I’ve looked up to. I’ve watched these girls race and I have nothing but respect for them and it’s great to share the start line with them.”
“It’s going to be a super fast day and that’s kept me motivated over the past two weeks. I’ve had fun with time trials – I’m mentally fresh and I’m excited about the weekend as we’re seeing long course athletes mixing it up with ITU athletes and half athletes so I’m looking forward to throwing my hat in and seeing what happens – it’s going to be a boom or bust tactic I think!
“The list is way too long to pick anyone. Even if Rinny says she is not in good shape, I’m sorry, but she is! It’s going to be a good mix up and a few surprises too.
“Very proud to have this race as part of the Challenge Family – if I look at the line up the athletes, it’s just amazing. We will see a great race on this course with perhaps a chance to create some new record.
“Plus the after party is amazing with Dire Straits, Akon.
“Absolutely phenomenal the hospitably we have experienced here from the athletes side, The organisation made a promise they would put up the best race ever, that’s always something very big, so far from the athletes side it’s very good.”
Zibi Szlufcik – CEO Challenge Family
His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa wants to deliver the best ever race in the world – we really value your contribution over the weekend and really want to raise triathlon around the globe and we look forward to doing this with you.