| A record 10,000 athletes with many different ages and skill levels from over 50 countries will gather in the urban course setting to showcase their abilities and passion for the sport of triathlon. |
The World Championships are not just contained to the three days however, but is a week long festival dedicated to the sport of triathlon and its ideals. The festivities begin on August 29th with a youth triathlon and continue to the Sunday with receptions, parties, parades and high caliber triathlon racing.
Over 300 of the world’s top Junior and Under23 athletes are the first to race on the Friday afternoon. New Champions will be crowned in all four events with last year’s Under23 Champion Erin Densham of Australia having moved up to the Elite ranks. Also moved up are 2006 Junior World Champions Kirsten Sweetland of Canada.
Sweetland has had a breakthrough 2007 season with a World Cup win and another podium under her belt already. She is currently ranked number three in the world.
At the climax of the world championship week are the Elite races. On Saturday, the Elite Women square off with more top woman fighting for the title then ever before. Will the insuperable Emma Snowsill of Australia win her fourth world title, tying the great Simon Lessing for the most world titles of all time? Or will Portuguese sensation Vanessa Fernandes finally get the world title she has been seeking for the past three years? Fernandes just missed the top spot last year as the petite Snowsill ran a scorching 33:35 final 10-kilometres on the tough Lausanne course.
It could be the day for a new woman’s champion to emerge from the deep talent pool of young up-and-coming athletes. Youngsters Densham, Sweetland, Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand or Annabel Luxford of Australia all have a legitimate shot at triathlon gold in Hamburg.
Sunday morning 2,500 Age Group competitors will compete in their five year age groups, starting from 20-24 and ending at over 85 years of age. Many of the great elite triathletes of today have come from the age group ranks. For many age group athletes it is the pinnacle of their triathlon season or even their sporting career to make it to the world championships and proudly wear their country’s uniform. Many use the world championships to judge their progress from year to year and use the opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones.
All the weekend’s action will be broadcast live on German National Television and sent out around the world on ITU’s Tricast players. Live online coverage of all the Elite races and Age Group finishes will be available on triathlon.org including behind the scenes videos and special features leading into the 2007 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships.
photos Janos Schmidt