White to make first World start of season

Banbridge triathlete Russell White. Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Banbridge triathlete Russell White. Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Banbridge triathlete Russell White is taking another step forward this weekend.

The former Banbridge Academy pupil will make his first appearance of the season at World Series level, taking to the roads in Canada for the Edmonton World Triathlon Series on Sunday.

The race follows White’s success at the Standard Distance National Championships. He won the Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon and National Championships in style as he crossed the line in 1:59:31 for the 1500 metre swim, 40 kilometre bike and 10 kilometre run.

Now he’s coming up against the best in the world in a race that is the last stop off in the World Series before the Grand Final in Chicago on September 18th and 19th.

The men’s field in Edmonton is stacked with the winner likely to come from the Spanish duo of Javier Gomez and Mario Mola, Frenchman Vincent Luis or South African run specialist, Richard Murray.

White lines up wearing number 66 of 67 starters with the priority being to have a strong swim and bike combo in order to be well positioned for the five kilometre dash to the line.

Edmonton will be raced over the sprint distance with a one-lap 750 metre swim in Hawrelak Lake before transitioning onto a four-lap 20 kilometre bike and three-lap five kilometre run.

White’s Ireland team-mate and Derry girl Aileen Reid is well placed in the ladies’ series, lying eighth. She has a real opportunity to jump up the rankings with five of the top eight ranked women in the world missing from Sunday’s start line and bumper points on offer at the Grand Final.

Reid will line up on the beach wearing number number with Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands the number 1 ranked athlete in the field.

Reid is currently on track to secure qualification for her second Olympic Games and has a string of top results to her name this season which include a seventh, sixth and fourth place finish at World Series level.

Her form dipped at the Rio Olympic Test event due to illness but with five weeks training since that race she will be looking to get back to the sharp end of affairs.

Edmonton also plays host to a leg of the World Paratriathlon Series with Ireland represented in three different categories.

Aidan McGlynn is the most experienced of the team with four World Paratriathlon events to his name. McGlynn’s best result yet is a fourth place finish and he lines up ranked 8th from 16 starters this weekend.

Catherine Walsh and pilot Fran Meehan are an exciting prospect in the women’s PT5 category. The duo just missed out on a podium finish in their first international race in Detroit and will have hopes of going one better with the experience they have gained.

Finally, Garrett Turbett takes to the start line in the PT3 category with world number 11, Curvelo of Brazil the pre-race favourite.