Six American women will compete on Saturday, Sept. 15, with six men taking to the start line on Sunday, Sep 16. The first U.S. male and female athlete to cross the line will earn a spot on the 2008 US Olympic Team. The International Triathlon Union will provide a live webcast.
"This race will be highly competitive as it is being used by several countries as an Olympic qualifying event. The athletes that qualify there will have an entire year to prepare, so we will know how they can perform on that course, in that environment," said USAT Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn.
The resumes of the U.S. athletes competing this weekend are noteworthy, including three Olympic Games appearances, seven ITU World Championship medals, three Pan American Games gold medals, two Pan American Games silver medals, one Pan American Games bronze medal, 12 USA Triathlon National Championships, and two Olympic Games alternate selections. Many of the athletes have been training in South Korea to prepare for the race. Americans competing this weekend in Beijing:
- Hunter Kemper (Longwood, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2000 & 2004 Olympian; 2005 No. 1 in the World - Things are going well for me here in Jheju, South Korea. I am truly looking forward to our first U.S. Olympic Qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I look forward to seeing how my fitness is after a very long and difficult year recovering from an SI Joint injury from the spring/summer. It should be exciting racing for all the athletes that are over here for the Beijing World Cup. This is an exciting time in the sport of triathlon and I look forward to racing as well as I can on September 16.
- Andy Potts (Princeton, N.J. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2004 Olympian, 2007 USAT Elite National Champion; 2007 Pan Am Games Gold medalist - I'm looking forward to racing on the Olympic course in Beijing. Once we race on the course, then the organizers can only make minor adjustments for the Games. It will be a challenging course and a world class field so the bar has been set pretty high. Of course I want to have a great race but nothing is going to be given to anyone on race day. You are definitely going to have to earn a high finish. I think that a lot of people have been waiting for this race so we should see some fantastic performances; I hope that I can be one of those people having a great day.
- Doug Friman (Alameda, Calif. / Tucson, Ariz.)
2004 Olympic Team alternate
- Jarrod Shoemaker (Sudbury, Mass.)
2005 U23 World Champion - I am excited to race on the Olympic course with an Olympic spot on the line. I have been focusing hard on improving my limiters and working on my swim and bike to prepare myself for the fast paced swim and tough hilly bike we will experience in Beijing. Everybody will be ready to race in Beijing and it will be fun to see how both myself and my U.S. teammates stack up against the best in the world.
- Brian Fleischmann (Jacksonville, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Three-time USAT Elite Nationals runner-up
- Matt Reed (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2004 USAT National Champion
- Laura Bennett (N. Palm Beach, Fla. / Boulder, Colo.)
2004 Olympic Team alternate; four-time ITU Worlds medalist
- Julie Swail Ertel (Irvine, Calif.)
2007 USAT Elite National Champion; 2007 Pan Am Games Gold medalist - This is the biggest race of the year as it is the prime race to qualify for the Olympics. It will allow the athlete who qualifies to concentrate on training and peaking in August of next year. I'm enjoying the training camp in South Korea. It is a very relaxing environment with shorter training days with more intensity. It is a perfect set up for the Beijing race.
- Sarah Groff (Cooperstown, N.Y. / Boulder, Colo.)
2007 ITU Aquathlon World Champion
- Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2006 USAT U23 National Champion; 2006 ITU Aquathlon World Champion
- Sarah Haskins (St. Louis, Mo. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2006 USAT Elite National Champion; 2007 Pan Am Games Silver medalist - This is the pinnacle race of the year for me and I have been focusing on this race since the beginning of 2007. I am ready to put it all out on the line and give it everything I have. This race will also be a great opportunity to gain experience in racing at a level a step higher than a normal world cup and possibly the World Championships.
- Becky Lavelle (Minnetonka, Minn. / Los Gatos, Calif.)
2006 USAT Non-ITU Female Triathlete of the Year
About USA Triathlon: USA Triathlon is the national governing body for triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,000 races and connects with more than 100,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. For more information, please go to USATriathlon.org.