Preview: Olympic Triathlon – Women

The Triathlons start bright and early on Saturday 4th August at 9am with the women’s event and Britain not only has high hopes of a medal – but a Gold one. Helen Jenkins showed herself to be the one to beat in 2011, and continue her form into 2012 before concentrating on preparing for London like may others. Paula Findlay (Canada) and Barbara Riveros Diaz (Chile) have both won world event in the past but have struggled this year to be at their best, so Jenkins biggest rivals are likely to be the Australians Erin Densham and Emma Moffatt along with Andrea Hewitt from New Zealand.

Great Britain’s Lucy Hall, the youngest athlete in the women’s field at 20 is a hot favourite to lead the field out of the water after the 1500 metre swim. Selected for her swim and bike abilities to help the British team in its quest for gold, she’ll be right up there at the front pushing the pace on with the likes of Jenkins, Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Erin Densham (AUS) and hopefully Vicky Holland too. The women’s draw for the pontoon has taken place with the favourites and leaders on the world ranking going for the left hand side (inside line to the first buoy), Hall has been drawn on the far right, so expect her to be out on her own in clear water to start with.

The swim is expected to be very fast and it’s likely a smallish group will form at the head of the race as they start the bike section – 8-10 athletes in the group. Depending on who’s made the group (or more importantly who hasn’t), team tactics may start to play out. The weaker runners will want to push the pace on to build a gap for later, others may have team mates with better medal hopes stuck in the chasing pack, and those that missed the group will have a hard chase on to get back into the race.

Our Top 5
1 Helen Jenkins (GBR)
2 Erin Densham (AUS)
3 Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
4 Nicola Spirig (SUI)
5 Barbara Riveros Diaz (Chile)

Other to look out for in the Top 10:
Lisa Norden (Sweden), Aileen Morrison (IRE) if she can stay at the front on the swim, our outside bet Sarah Groff (USA) and Brit Vicky Holland. Full Start List. The weather forecast is favourable for the race start, but there is a risk of heavy showers later on, which could cause problems if the athletes are on the bike leg (cold hands and feet, punctures, crashes etc).

Men’s Event is on the 7th August at 11.30am.