After postponing last month’s Pacific Triathlon Championships, over 15 international athletes from Fiji and PNG are ready to fly in to Honiara this week, ahead of the Championship races on the 3rd and 4th of September.
The five weeks of extra training due to the postponement has paid off, with Solomon Islands athletes in peak condition, ready for the competition from Fiji and PNG.
“We’re very excited about the race as it’s the first time Solomon Islands has hosted a big triathlon event,” said Solomon Islands triathlon coach Nathan Thomson Siofa.
“PNG and Fiji athletes are coming, which is very exciting and it’s a good chance for other local athletes who haven’t competed against international athletes before,” he added.
One of the top local triathletes Boris Teddy who has been seen regularly running through town said that “preparations are going well for the competition” and “as the host it’s important to do well”.
Teddy advises that his strongest parts of the race are the ride and run, so he’s been focussing on his swimming to make sure he keeps ahead of the competition.
Another top local athlete, Rocky Donald has capped off a hard training regime with a win in last weekend’s half marathon held at Kakabona, finishing first in an impressive 1 hour 26 minutes.
The female triathletes also put in an excellent showing in the 10km run race last weekend, using the race as a final distance training run in preparation for the Championships.
The PNG and Fiji squads have also made the most of the extra time in training, and are sending over 15 of their best athletes, plus coaches and officials, to compete against the Solomon squad next week.
Stephen Sheldrake of the Oceania Triathlon Union is also flying in from Australia to take a look at the top talent in the Pacific region.
In particular he’ll be watching how the current members of the Oceania Triathlon Development squad are going, including Solomon’s athletes Andriana, Boris and Rocky, and looking for new talent for future development squads.
The Championship race will be at Kakabona beach on Saturday 3rd September starting at 8am, with all competitors welcome and plenty of race options and activities for competitors and spectators alike.
The Honiara Hash House Harriers are cooking a bbq, Rexona are giving out prizes and the SINU rehabilitation clinic will be on hand to massage those sore muscles from racing or watching.
A pikinini race will also be held at 9am, and all fast running and swimming pikininis are encouraged to join in the fun.
And on Sunday 4th September at 8am, a special off-road triathlon is being held in the hills behind Kakabona, which is a great opportunity for all the mountain bike riders and bush track runners in town to test their skills against the fittest and fastest in the region.
Triathlon Solomon Islands is grateful to the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Rexona, Bulk Shop, Honiara Hardware and Honiara Hash House Harriers for their generous support which is allowing this exciting event to happen.