As the Spanish town of Pontevedra gears up to host the ITU Multisport World Championships from 26 April-4 May, some 4,000 athletes of all ages and levels are also putting into practice their final training schedules and planning. Over the week of racing, World Champions will be crowned in five events; Aquathlon, Aquabike, Cross Triathlon, Duathlon, and Long-Distance triathlon, with the Elite, U23, Junior, Paratriathlon and Age-Group athletes all in action.
Penny Slater will be looking to claim her third consecutive U23 Cross Triathlon World Championship title as she joins Leela Hancox on Tuesday 30th April. Ben Allen’s experience is never to be discounted and he will be hungry to perform after finishing 8th last year in Fyn.
It’s Penny’s final year in the U23 category, but she is already showing that she is ready to mix it with the elites after a recent triumph at the Xterra Asia Pacific Championships and then backed it up with a second in a wire to wire race at Xterra Rotorua the following weekend.
“This this is my last year in the U23 category, but one of the things I love about Cross Tri Worlds is we get to race with the elites, so I'm also really excited to see what I can do against those ladies too, as literally anyone who's ever done well in Cross Tri is going to be there!” said Penny.
“It’s pretty crazy to think that I have a chance to become a three time World Champion. Obviously, I'm really excited to see if I can pull off the win again but there is definitely a little extra pressure there. I've had a really good summer of training so I am confident I can put on a good performance,” said Slater.
Junior athletes Jack Direen, Jasmine Eden Grey and Zoe Davison will be giving it their all in the off road event.
Australia will be well represented in the Male Under 23 Duathlon with Matt Smith who came 8th place last year in Fyn and a 7th in Penticton, joined by Kurt Kryer and Sam Mileham. 2017 Cross Triathlon World Champion Alec Davison will be lining up in the Junior Duathlon and will double up a few days later in the Aquathlon where he placed 6th last year.
Davison will join 2017 Junior Aquathlon World Champion, Rahul Jegatheva, who placed second last year. Having recently won the National Aquathlon Championships on the Gold Coast, Rahul is ready for redemption.
Jasmine Eden Grey and Mileham will also take part in their second event of the championships when they line up in the Aquathlon.
The Age Group events will run simultaneously throughout the Championships, with 106 Age Group athletes making up the Australian team. 15 of these athletes have opted to race in multiple events.
Penny Palfrey will be going for her third consecutive Aquathlon World Title in the 55-59 year female category, whilst husband Chris is keen to continue his pattern of improving by one place each year – and will hopefully progress to the top spot of the podium in Pontevedra, adding to the silver he collected in Fyn, bronze in Penticton and a 4th in Cozumel in 2016.
Triathlon Australia’s President Michelle Cooper is taking on the long distance triathlon, with Lucas Deer back to defend his title in 18-19 year age group.
Jessica Henderson, who came 2nd in the 2018 Aquathlon event in the 20-24 female category, moves up an age group this year and is taking on the Cross Triathlon and Aquabike events.
The flag bearer selected to represent Team Australia at The Parade of Nations this Friday evening local time is Mark Dawson who will be competing in the male 65 to 69 year age group category in the standard distance Duathlon Championships. Mark has raced 21 world duathlon championships for Team Australia – 19 in the northern hemisphere, with six top-eight finishes.
See the full Event Schedule
See the full Age Group team