Burke and Vansteelant are going to be chased
They are the Queen and King of Duathlon and are going to be chased by all the athletes on 2 September. The New Zealander Melanie Burke and JoerieVansteelant from Belgium want to defend their title as world champions. Before the start of PowermanZofingen, which again will be presented as Long distance – Duatholon – World Chamionships of the two associations IPA (International Powerman Association) and ITU (International Triathlon Union), there are various question marks on the starting list.
On 6 and 7 September 2013 the World Capital city of duathlon is hosting the 25th PowermanZofingen. The preparation for this anniversary has already started. In a couple of weeks on 1 and 2 September the 24th Powerman will take place in Zofingen. As in the past, the event will again be presented as ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. It’s the 5th time the two associations IPA and ITU operate together in the “Thutstadt”.
“Compared to last year, we only changed some details and improved some processes”, says the president of PowermanZofingen, Stefan Ruf. The route for the athletes has been changed. “We can run and cycle on the original track again”, announces the chief of running Stefan Aregger. In 2011 it was due to the bad weather and windstorm in summer not possible to run up to the Heitern and cycle through the Bowald because of the road works. Furthermore the PowermanZofingen now is an official Swiss Olympic event and the only World Championship race in the county of Aargau with this status.
1,500 participants expected
Last year the PowermanZofingen registered 1,300 participants. The event didn’t reach this number of attendants since 2000. Martin Ryser, Chief of Marketing Athletes, is expecting for the coming event 1,500 participants. “To reach this target we need nice weather on 1 and 2 September. About 500 athletes each will start for the competition on Long- and Short Distance. Besides we need many registrations on the event in the categories Powerman CHARITY and PowerKids.” Registrations in the categories Long Distance (only age groups), Short Distance, Powerman CHARITY and PowerKids can be placed on www.powerman.ch or on the event.
The favourite is Joerie Vansteelant
Joerie Vansteelant wants to defend his title as world champion. The ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships is his highlight in the second part of the season. The 30 year old Belgian athlete won on 29 April 2012 the Powerman European Championships in Horst aan de Maas, Netherlands. He was followed by the French Anthony le Duey. Le Duey and his compatriot ThibautHumbert will be the strongest competition for Vansteelant on the coming PowermanZofingen.
Vansteelant is in a good mood. In winter he got married with Kim, who is also from the Belgian city of Torhout. His marriage with the 27 year old woman and his one year old son give him a lot of power to start at the world championships. Last year he broke the record after 10 k running, 150 k cycling and another 30 k running. Within 6:07.15.3 he finished the duathlon and this was his best time after 2009 where it took him 4 minutes and 20 seconds longer. “To be even faster, I need to have a perfect day on 2 September! It also depends on the weather and the progress of the race.” It’s hardly impossible to be faster on the bike, “but I could run faster”, he says.
First Duathlon for Burke in 2012
Melanie Burke, defending champion of ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships, will compete in Zofingen her first duathlon in 2012. “I did three triathlons in 2012 and because I’m not in my best condition at swimming I only got second”. Furthermore in New Zealand the season of the Duathlons starts after the PowermanZofingen. Since her first start at the PowermanZofingen in 2011 she is impressed about the race. “A wonderful race, well organised, an amazing atmosphere, an euphoric audience and a hard course.”
The 30 year old New Zealander already arrives on 26 August in Zofingen and stays at a homestay-family. “I know I will be chased by everybody, but I am sure, I can be faster on the bike. On the other hand I’m not at my best condition in running as I had an injury.” Burke calls the European Champion Lucy Gossage (UK), the World and European vice champion EvaNyström (Sweden) and Erika Csomor (Hungary) as her biggest competition.
Sutz not yet recovered
The will to participate is as big as ever but the body is not yet completely ready. Andy Sutz suffered an injury at his left foot during the training camp in Spain this February. The accident happened during the training camp in Gran Canariamid February.
„I twisted my ankle and fell hardly to the ground“ saysSutz. He carried on with his running training and this caused a stress related fracture within the right hip and an over-straining of the tigh. As a consequence, Sutz had to stop the running training from mid February until mid July. Andy Sutz, who was spared from injuries during his career so far, could not participate in a single race this year.
„I was never in such an unfortunate situation, I will see how fast I am progressing in the next two or three weeks, then I take the decision whether to start or not“, says Sutz who was ranked third at last year’s World Championships behind the Belgian Joerie Vansteelant and the French Thibaut Humbert.
Erika Csomor could become this year in Zofingen for the twelfth time World champion. It would be the same success as Olivier Bernhard had. The 38 year old Hungarian won lately the Ironman in Zurich. “At the moment I’m really busy with taking part at different triathlons”, says Csomor. She was the winner of the PowermanZofingen from 2004 until 2010. “I’m not the youngest anymore and I have to take care after my body”, says the Hungarian, who reached the third ranking after Melanie Burke and Eva Nyström. “If I won’t start at the coming Powerman Zofingen, I’ll definitely come back once or twice later on”, promises Csomor.
The association of Powerman Zofingen is wondering if Camilla Lindholm, 3rd ranking in 2009 and 2010, will have her comeback this year in Zofingenafter her maternity leave.
text: Raphael Galliker/transl: Sonja Huber
caption: The chased Melanie Burke (New Zealand) and JoerieVansteelant (Belgium).
picture: Raphael Galliker