Troy Watson, the amateur athlete, has accepted an invitation to join the Team Abu Dhabi Triathlon squad for next week's Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Having secured his Kona berth by finishing third in a Chinese qualification event last April, the Abu Dhabi-based Watson joins experienced captain Faris al Sultan and Andrea Steinbecher in the Pacific Island showpiece. "In 2006, I set myself a goal to complete one Ironman, but I just enjoyed the feeling and the sense of accomplishment - it's a sport with a great atmosphere," said Watson, who works for Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, the organisers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
While his spot in the 25-29 years category justifies years of gruelling training regimes, the Australian remains realistic about his chances in the Ironman's glamour fixture. "Nowhere else in the world can you line up as an amateur and compete with the world's best - it's an honour for me," said Watson, who revealed any advice offered by Sultan, the 2005 world champion, will be warmly received. "I've met Faris at a couple of UAE races and I'm very aware of his career! I'll go, learn and go back in a few years to have a real go," added Watson.