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Triathlon - 12. May 2008.

Four Weeks until Vancouver hosts World Championships

Vancouver, Canada (May 8, 2008) - The countdown continues to the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships. Four weeks from today, the first day of competition will begin at English Bay and Stanley Park as more than 3,000 athletes from 45 countries will take part in the 20th edition of ITU's flagship event.

"With the world championships just four weeks away, we're very confident all the months of planning and preparation will produce one of the best world championships ever," said Philip Davis, Vice-President of the Triathlon Vancouver Organizing Committee (TVOC) and Director of Operations. "It's incredible to feel the excitement building in the city as we head towards the event. We're looking forward to a great turnout at an exceptional venue, and showcasing Vancouver as a world-class sports city."

Momentum and community participation continue to build as the number of volunteers has
from many local triathletes from businesses and companies and the event filling up quickly. Already teams have been entered from Tim Horton's, National Bank, Davis LLP, Ledcor Construction and the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

The world championships will climax with the elite women's and men's races on Sunday June 8. It will be the final Olympic qualifier for Canadians to earn selection to the Beijing Olympic team. Four Olympic spots (two men and two women) will be at stake for Canada's top triathletes. Sydney Olympic gold medalist Simon Whtifield (Victoria, BC) and Lauren Groves (Vancouver, BC) have already earned nominations to the Olympic team and lead the Canadian elite team racing in Vancouver that was announced by Triathlon Canada earlier this week. Kirsten Sweetland (Victoria, BC), Paul Tichelaar (Edmonton, AB), Kathy Tremblay (Montreal, QC), Carolyn Murray (Edmonton, AB) and Kyle Jones (Oakville, ON) have all had excellent performances on the BG Triathlon World Cup series in 2008 and will be on the start line for Team Canada in June.

"This is an event I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. Last year's World Cup was a great course preview for me. I rarely get the chance to race in my home country, let alone my hometown, so this is very exciting for me," said the Beijing bound Groves.

A strong international contingent is expected to flock to Vancouver for the world championships including reigning world champion Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal and Spanish star Javier Gomez. Both are widely considered to be the early gold medal favourites in Beijing. The event also features a $250,000 USD prize purse equal for elite men and women. The 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships will be the final event in ITU's 24-month Olympic qualification period which began on May 1, 2006.

Visit www.triathlonvancouver.com for more information.

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