Aileen Morrison and Gavin Noble getting some pool time in at DCU. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
One week to go

Last stop for Irish triathletes before London Olympics

Ailleen Morrison and Gavin Noble will compete in the World Triathlon Series at Hamburg at the weekend.

AILEEN MORISSON AND Gavin Noble will test themselves for the final time before the London Olympics, at the Hamburg leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series this weekend.

The sprint distance race should prove the perfect preparation for the duo who are coming off the back of three weeks altitude training.

Morrison was using the state of the art training facilities in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Spain while Noble was based a little closer to home at the recently opened Limerick Altitude Centre.

The women’s field in Hamburg will be no pushover with the likes of two-time world champion Emma Moffatt and the in-form Ashleigh Gentle likely to be challenging for top honours.

In good form

Morrison has produced some excellent performances this season, taking podium places when the opportunity arises.

The Derry native finished in 14th at an ITU event in Austria last month and recorded best ever finishes at world series events in Japan and Madrid, finishing second in both events, in April and May respectively.

Asked about the pressures’ that come with big results Morrison commented. “I’ve learnt to deal with the pressure.” She added:

I realise what people’s expectations are that don’t know me but the people that know me and my sport, Chris Jones, my mum and dad and my boyfriend Davy, they know what I’m capable of and they don’t expect me to come away from London with a medal.

“They do expect me to try my best and put in everything that I’m capable of so that’s exactly what I’m going to do and I can’t let anyone down if I do that.”

One out of three ain’t bad

While Morrison has had a good run of results this season, Noble has been less fortunate. Injuries, such as a fractured shin, have disrupted preparations and made qualification itself an commendable result.

Triathlon Ireland’s cycling coach, Tommy Evan’s has been pleased with Noble’s progress over the last number of weeks and feels he is in the best biking shape of his life.

With London just around the corner High Performance Director, Chris Jones sees Hamburg as vital preparation for Noble.

“Gavin hasn’t raced at World Series level in a while due to his injury,” said Jones, “so it’s a good opportunity to get exposure to this intensity of racing.”

Live coverage of the Hamburg race is available on the BBC Red Button or from 5:20pm on Saturday for the men’s race and 3:30pm on Sunday for the women’s race.

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