The opening round of the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship series will be played out in Sydney tomorrow morning.

Some of the greatest triathletes in the world will gather near the Sydney Opera House to compete at the Olympic distance race – 1.5km swim/40km bike/10km Run. They will be taking in Farm Cove, Macquarie and College streets, The Royal Botanical Gardens and of course the spectacular Sydney Harbour.

While the excitement to kick off the series is great, the London Olympics 2012 will be at the forefront of the minds of athletes who have not yet secured a spot in their respective country’s team. Women like Australia’s Emma Moffat,, New Zealander’s Andrea Hewitt and number one ranked triathlete, Helen Jenkins from Great Britain have already secured their spot, but will still be racing hard. “I am approaching Sydney like any other World Series Race. There is still a World Championship up for grabs at the end of the year,” said Moffat at the press conference.

Vying for those two other spots on the Australian Olympic team will be 2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist, Emma Snowsill. Snowsill had returned from training in South Africa earlier this year, with the plan to start her season racing at Mooloolaba World Cup. However, a virus had different plans for Snowsill, forcing her to withdraw. So Sydney will be her first race of the season, and interestingly, the first time the three Emmas – Snowsill, Moffatt and Emma Jackson – have raced each other since Sydney last year. While Snowsill hasn’t been seen on the start blocks for a while, this athlete is fantastic at honing in on races that she needs to podium.

Emma Jackson is fresh from a great win at the OTO Oceania Championships in Devenport. At twenty years of age, Jackson is still relatively young, but had a very consistent year in 2011 and gained loads of experience racing against some high profiled athletes. She is certainly in very good contention for a spot on the team. An impressive race in Sydney is just the platform she needs for that spot on the team.

With a win at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup, Erin Densham has thrown her hat into the ring. She put it all on the line at Mooloolaba and stated pre-race in that she had to win if she was even going to be on the Olympic team radar. Densham is now another with her sites set on a potential Olympic spot.

Previous ITU World Junior champions, Ashleigh Gentle and Felicity Abram are also gunning for a position on the Olympic team and have bucket loads of potential of given the opportunity to fly the Australian flag.

Saturday’s race will be an interesting day on many levels. The Aussie contingent is strong, but there are plenty of athletes out there gunning for the number one position. It will be more than just a race for some of these girls, it’s potentially a life changing event, which could see two more Aussie girls alongside Moffatt in July/August in London. Let’s see what unfolds on race day, and the consequences that follow.

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Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP Serious about what I do, but don't take myself too seriously

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