Putting it all on the line for London
Athlete Ryan Gregson will be hoping to out run a fleet of Kenyans when he lines up at the Olympic 1500m qualifier in the opening round of the Diamond League in Qatar on May 11.
Gregson needs only to better a time of three minutes 35.50 seconds to ensure a berth on the London Games team.
Coach Nic Bideau says Gregson – the national record holder with his best of 3:31.06 set two years ago in Monaco – is in excellent shape ahead of the Doha Diamond League meet early on Saturday morning (AEST).
The 15-man 1500m field includes nine runners from distance running powerhouse Kenya headed by reigning world and Olympic champ Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat, the fastest two men in the world last year.
“Normally you go into these races and try to beat as many people as you can,” said Bideau.
“But this is of those rare ones where you’re really thinking about what time you’ll run.
“You’ve just got to be careful with all the Kenyans in the race that you don’t go too crazy and shoot too high.
“It will just be a lot easier for Ryan to focus on the rest of the season if he gets the time here because he’ll be in the Olympic team and you can direct all your energy to that one big race in August.”
The following day, good friend Aaron Royle will line up for race two of the ITU World Triathlon series in San Diego on May 12. After a race he would rather forget in Sydney on April 14, Royle is out to impress with Triathlon Australia yet to announce the Olympic team.
Triathlon Australia has been under fire in recent months with their delayed selections and announcements for the Olympic team. Only one male competitor, Brad Kahlefeldt, has been guaranteed a starting sport with a maximum of two more spots for Australia up for grabs.
COURSE PROFILE (courtesy of ITU):
Swim (1.5km) – The swim will take place in Bonita Cove; athletes will complete two laps of a 750m course from a beach start.
Bike (40km) - Athletes will complete eight laps of a 5km bike course that goes from T2 along Mission Boulevard, out and Over West Mission Bay Drive, including a short leg down Gleason Drive near Santa Barbara Cove, and back again.
Run (10km) – A three-lap beachside run that sees athletes right on the water at Mariners Basin before looping back on the other side of the main street in Mission Bay, Mission Boulevard.