Five to Compete in ITU World Championships Rotterdam
Karen Smith & Kent Richardson
Five Triathletes will represent Bermuda at the 2017 International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships in Rotterdam this weekend, writes Dave Morrison.
Karen Smith, fresh from her 15th place finish in her Age Group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships this weekend will be hoping to again podium as she goes in the much shorter Sprint Distance World Championships in the 45-49 Age Group. Smith took the Bronze Medal last year in Mexico but interestingly will face former ITU Elite World Champion Michellie Jones, an Australian who has lived in the USA for many years and now races as an Age Group Amateur. However, for Smith much will depend on how she has recovered from the 70.3 Worlds. Smith has raced in 5 previous World Championships over Sprint, Long Course and Olympic Distance.
Kent Richardson will once again start over the Sprint Distance, an event he has competed in on a number of occasions. Last year he finished 11th in the Menís 55-59 Age Group and will be hoping to crack the top 10 this year in what has prove to be a very competitive age group.
Also racing over the sprint distance is Lea Osborne in the 55-59 Age Group. Osborne first represented Bermuda in 1999 at the Age Group World Championships in Montreal and subsequently at the same Championships in 2001 in Edmonton. She also was part of the Bermuda team to the Small Island Games in Guernsey in 2003.
This year the Sprint distance races will be draft legal on the bike making for some interesting racing with position out of the water being an important factor.
Alec Shepherd and Stuart Osborne will be Bermudaís representatives in the Olympic Distance World Championships.
Osborne last raced for Bermuda at these championships in Edmonton in 2011 and with wife Lea is now based in Zurich where they compete on a regular basis. He and Shepherd both took part in the WTS Age Group race in Leeds in 2016 with Osborne finishing 16th in the menís 60-64 Age Group and Shepherd 5th in the 55-59 Age Group Sprint event, albeit on rented bikes.
Shepherd raced in these Championships in Chicago in 2015 finishing 85th out of 129 in his Age Group over the Standard Distance in a very competitive Age Group. Since then his focus has been more on longer distance racing including a very good time this year in the Chattanooga Ironman 70.3 when he finished in 4:54.00.