Focus on Wilson’s Olympics quest
2016 key year for triathelete
Exciting times are ahead for Barbados’ top triathlete Jason Wilson.
All eyes will be on Wilson as he attempts to maintain his place on the 2016 Olympics start list. Currently occupying the 45th slot in a limited field of 55, Jason must maintain his ranking until the cut-off date in May.
In the review of 2015 by the International Triathlon Union, the world body for the sport, Chelsea White wrote: “The biggest mover in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings in 2015 versus last season is Jason Wilson from Barbados. 164th in 2014, he improved by 124 places to end the year ranked 40th (1099 points).”
As the only Barbadian currently heading to the Olympics, and coming off a stellar year at the world level, where he placed in the top 25 in four of five World Cup races, and 5th at the Pan American Games, it was disappointing that Jason’s achievements did not earn him a mention as one of Barbados’ Top Athletes for 2015.
Wilson is back in training for the start of the triathlon season and will soon be heading to Australia to prepare for his first World Cup race in Abu Dhabi (March), followed by races in New Plymouth (New Zealand) and Gold Coast (Australia) in April, Cape Town (South Africa), Huatulco (Mexico), and Yokohama (Japan) in May, and then the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), in August.
Barbados’ other elite triathlete Matthew Wright, who recently graduated from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, recently joined up with Wilson in Guelph, Canada, to train under the tutelage of coach Craig Taylor. Both triathletes are hoping to continue performing well at the top level and keep the Barbados flag flying at all their international races.
On the local scene, plans are well underway to host the 2016 Bridgetown Pan American Cup triathlon on April 17 on the Spring Garden course. Triathletes from around the world will be eager to gain precious Olympic points, and a record number of entrants are expected.
Last year’s men’s race saw Eric Lagerstrom (USA) win by just eight seconds from team-mate Jason Pedersen with Manuel Huerta (Puerto Rico) coming in third once again. In the female race Erin Dolan (USA) was dominant, winning by 50 seconds over Nicole Truxes (USA) and Emy Legault (Canada).
For local and regional age-group triathletes, the Pan American races will be preceded by a sprint triathlon on the same course.
Meanwhile, the BFIT Tri-Kids Series, sponsored by Chefette Restaurants, will begin on Sunday, January 17, at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. Full details of all triathlons are available on the BFIT website at http://www.triathlonbarbados.com/(PG)