Beginning August 31st, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) is hosting the 2007 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Included in the weekend festivities, age group athletes from around the world compete head-to-head for world-class titles. Each country has their own qualifying process and the USA will send a team.
For age group athletes, it is a pretty cool event and the closest thing available to competing for your country, short of the Olympic Games. The athletes that make the team via the qualification process have the option of traveling to the event as a team. Team members purchase team kits, that include training and racing uniforms. Fellow country members are easy to spot in training and on race day.
The event is complete with opening ceremonies and a parade of nations. This is one place where you can see fit athletes from a large age range, from all countries. Here is visual proof that there is hope for a more fit world and we are not doomed to obesity weighing down the planet.
The multi-day event includes adult age group athletes and athletes with disabilities in a non-drafting format. There are draft-legal events for juniors, U-23 (under age 23) racers and the elites. The full schedule can be found here.
For those of you that have not seen draft-legal, Olympic racing, you can watch the event live on the internet. The ITU home page has a teaser video put together by the ITU media group. It's a great piece and pretty short too.
The Tricast live schedule is in the left column, next to the video mentioned in the previous paragraph. If you have never seen a draft-legal event, you're missing out on some exciting racing.
Did I mention exciting racing? Two short weeks after the ITU World Championships is the beginning of the qualification process for the 2008 Olympic Games for many countries.
Do you know who the favorites are to make the USA Olympic team?
Do you know who are the World's top-ranked athletes and potential Olympic favorites are right now?
More on the race for the Olympic team in the next blog.