Tomorrow morning, we return to Hyde Park to watch one of the most grueling and exciting races in all of sports, the men’s triathlon. Fifty-five triathletes will race in a 1500 meter swim, then a 43km bike and finish up with a 10km run. Here are a few of the racers you should focus on.
Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee (Great Britain)
I’m aware I just wrote down the names of two racers, and no, they aren’t the first Siamese twins to compete in the Olympic triathlon. The number one and two ranked triathlete brothers do almost everything together, and if they have it their way, they’ll be racing close together too.
Alistair is the current ITU World Champion and has won 12 ITU World Triathlon Series championships, which happens to be nine more than any other triathlete in history. He also won last year’s London test race, and hopes to break the curse of no winner getting Olympic gold. Jonathan took second place in the World Championship, and is often close behind his brother in all the ITU championships. They’re the heavy favorites, but hope to break the streak of favorites not taking home Olympic gold.
Sven Riederer (Switzerland)
He has experience succeeding on the high pressure Olympic stage, with a bronze medal win in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He claims to be at his best under cold and wet conditions, which would make a London morning the ideal location for him. He is also coming off the momentum of his fellow country mate, Nicola Spirig, taking home gold in the women’s triathlon.
Alexander Bryukhankov (Russia)
He is the most decorated male triathlete to never take home the gold in a race. He quickly made his mark in the sport when he won silver in the 2006 Junior World Championships. On this very course last year at the test event, he came in second beating out Jonathan Brownlee. He also is an extremely well-rounded athlete who excels in all three disciplines.
Javier Gomez (Spain)
He is one of the most decorated triathletes, with an ITU World Champions in 2008 and winning 23 gold medals in various triathlons. Ever since the Brownlee’s dominance, Gomez has often been the person to challenge them right to the end.
Hunter Kemper (United States)
He is a true iron man as only the second person to compete in all four Olympic triathlons. He is the only American male to be ranked number one by the ITU. Kemper will be a huge underdog in this race as he is coming into the competition recovering from some injuries.
Simon Whitfield (Canada)
He is the first ever Olympic gold medalist in the sport, and has competed in all four Olympic triathlons. He also took home the silver in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The years have caught up to him and he may not be as fast as he used to be, but it is foolish to discount a decorated veteran.
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(Images courtesy of NBC)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV