The Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team are keen to make their mark in Germany this weekend, as they look to maintain their impressive run of form at the Quelle Challenge Roth and at the ITU World Championship Hamburg. Leading the charge is Faris al Sultan, the captain of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority-backed outfit, who recently recorded three first-place finishes in Europe. He is being joined by teammates Pete Jacobs, Swen Sundberg, Jan van Berkel and honorary member, Christof Wandratsch.
Van Berkel, winner of this year's inaugural Abu Dhabi International Triathlon short course, will be aiming for a good result at the ITU World Championship Hamburg tomorrow, as he continues to push for a spot in the Olympics. "I had high-altitude training in Switzerland and I definitely feel good about it," said Van Berkel, a short course expert. "I have really worked hard, especially for the run stage.
"My strategy in Hamburg would be to try to come out of the water in a good position so that I can get on the bike in the first group, which should assure me a top-20 finish. "If everything goes perfectly, a top-10 finish would be possible. "Hamburg has the world's biggest short-distance race field and attracts more than 250,000 spectators. "As such, I am definitely looking forwards to being a top-place finisher as this would be a great result for the team."
At the Challenge Roth race on Sunday, the Australian Jacobs, the Bavarian event's runner-up for the past two years, will be seeking an elusive victory. Sundberg, who notched a seventh-place finish in 2008, is in the same boat. Both Jacobs and Sundberg will individually tackle the full triathlon course, which includes a 3.8km swim, 180km bike race and a 42km run. Al Sultan and Wandratsch are also participating in Roth as part of relay teams.
Wandratsch, an endurance swimmer and holder of several world records, including one for crossing the English Channel in 2005, will be doing the swim leg for a team that includes Philipp Goergen and Elina Ussher, the three-time Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge winner. * Agency