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Triathlon - 28. February 2008.

MOFFATT, ABRAM RACE FOR BEIJING


2008 Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial



Australian Olympic contenders Felicity Abram and Emma Moffatt will headline
a quality field in this Saturday’s 2008 Gold Coast Triathlon ITU Oceania Cup
Abram will contest her first race since placing second to Emma Snowsill at
the Noosa Triathlon on November 4. Abram is trying to snare one of the two
spots on the Australian Olympic team. After an injury riddled 2007 she is
back on top and will be out to impress selectors here and at the Mooloolaba
ITU World Cup (30 March).


“‘I’m looking forward to racing and blowing away the cobwebs. Emma
(Moffatt) is in good form after her win last weekend so it will be good to
gauge myself off her and gain some race fitness for Mooloolaba. But more
importantly I’m just glad to be racing in memory of Luke,” said Abram.
Moffatt, another Beijing hopeful that has risen from pretender to major
contender after a breakthrough Australian Sprint Championship title in
Hobart two weeks ago. She also snared Triathlon Australia’s Athlete of the
Year award presented earlier this month. Voted by her peers, 2007 saw
Moffat win her first World Cup victory in Edmonton, place second at the ITU
World Cup in Hungary and claim 4th in the 2007 World Championships in
Hamburg, Germany.


Just seven months ago she never considered herself a chance but her world
cup victory in Edmonton and fourth place at the 2007 world championships
catapulted her into Olympic contention.


“I’ve been pleased with my early season form and this race will be another
stepping stone to peaking at Mooloolaba and making my charge for Olympic
selection,” said Moffatt.


Alee Sharp will be looking to consolidate her good start to the season
claiming the 2008 Australian Triathlon title in Perth this month. The event
marked a return to racing for Sharp after an extended period away from
racing.


Australia’s National Performance Director, Bill Davoren said the battle for the
final two female places on the Australian team will be fierce with four girls all
in contention – Felicity Abram, Emma Moffatt, Erin Densham and Annabel
Luxford.


"This weekend is the last chance for the girls to have a hit-out before the
racing really goes up a level. With three World Cups left before the final
Selection date, I expect all four girls will be coming into some good form over
the next few weeks,” said Davoren.


The event has attracted a full strength Japanese squad currently based on
the Gold Coast lead by 38 year old veteran Kiyomi Niwata. 38 year old
Niwata is still Japan’s highest ranked athlete sitting at number 11 on the ITU
Cup standings.


HARROP’S PREGNANT PAUSE
Former golden girl and Olympic silver medallist Loretta Harrop will again take
part in The Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial as part of an
expected 1,500 competitors on Sunday 2 March.

Unlike last year when Harrop made her return to elite competition in this
weekend of triathlon to honour her brother Luke, she will only be contesting
the swim leg of the event as she is expecting her second child.

“I will always take part in this race to remember Luke, it’s a fantastic
weekend and one that he loved,” said Harrop.

The Sunday program caters for participants of all ages and abilities with a
sprint distance race (750m/20km/5km), an Enticer triathlon
(300m/10km/2km) and The Courier Mail Superkidz Triathlon
(100m/3km/500m).

The Gold Coast Triathlon is the third and final even in the Luke Harrop
Memorial Bursary, the other two being the 2007 Mooloolaba and Noosa
events. An Under 23 male and female winner will be awarded $1000 and the
series winners a bonus cheque of $1500 each

At a glance
Distance
Olympic Distance – 1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run
Course
Swim: 2 laps, held in the Broadwater which is tidal and saltwater.
Cycle: 9 laps – along the Gold Coast Highway with complete road closure.
Run: 4 laps – along the Gold Coast Highway and through the race precint
Defending Champions
Brad Kahlefeldt (AUST)
Liz Blatchford (GBR)
Prize Money
AUD$12,000
Timetable


Saturday 1 March 2008
11.00am Oceania Cup Elite Female – Start
1.20pm Oceania Cup Elite Male – Start
Sunday 2 March 2008
5.30am Gold Coast Lifestyle Expo Opens
6.45 am SuperKidz Tri – Start
7.05am Southport CentralEnticer Triathlon – Start
7.25am Gold Coast Triathlon – Start
11.00am Gold Coast Lifestyle Expo closes
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