By Olalla Cernuda on 10/08/18 at 8:40 am
Everything is ready in Strathclyde Park in Glasgow for the Mixed Relay European Championship, and with 17 teams toeing the start line, current World Champion France is in the hunt for another gold.
“I hope to bring home another medal,” women’s bronze medallist Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) said. “We have good cohesion and all understand each other very well. We’re looking for a European title as we have the world title,” the 21-year-old added. Confidence levels within the team have risen after Pierre Le Corre dominated the men’s event. He will join the French squad and look to add another European gold, along with teammates Leonie Periault and Dorian Coninx, the later fresh for the relay as he didn’t take part in the individual race.
But the task won’t be easy. Belgium is putting up a really strong team as well, with Claire Michel, Jelle Geens, Valerie Barthelemy and Christophe de Keyser. The bronze medallist in the individual race, Marten van Riel, will be a reserve, but the line up can change up until two hours before the race. “We have a good team, we’re in the mix for the podium. It will all come down to little details”, said Michel.
Also quite strong is the Swiss squad, with the six times European Champion Nicola Spirig doing the third leg of the relay. With her will be Lisa Berger, Sylvain Fridelance and Andrea Salvisberg, all ready to get some valuable points on the ranking list to try to qualify the team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Great Britain will be pushed by the home crowd to improve on their fourth place at the world championships in Hamburg in July, but it won’t be easy. The team will be a quite young one and probably not so used to work together as some other teams, but India Lee, Beth Potter, Iestyn Harrett and Barclay Izzard are all pretty strong triathletes, and in the super short distance of the Relay they can put up a great performance.
Spain cannot be ruled out, either, with men’s silver medallist Fernando Alarza taking on the second leg of the race. He will be accompanied by Anna Godoy Contreras, Antonio Serrat Seoane and Sara Perez Sala, ready to compete after the crash that left her out of the competition this Thursday.
The Netherlands, fifth in the 2018 world rankings, will try to make up for a poor performance in the individual events despite not entering their best team. And current European champions, Denmark, will be also playing the underdog card, with a team pretty used to work together.
Norway has withdrawn from the competition after losing Lotte Miller (NOR) to injury after she crashed early in the bike leg of the women’s event.
Teams can change the order of their athletes, or call up their two reserve athletes, up to two hours before the race start time of 17:35 this Saturday.
On Saturday, starting at 07:00, Strathclyde Country Park will host the first Age Group Sprint Distance European Championships for non-elite athletes from 16-84 years old.
Find more details about this event - 2018 Glasgow ETU Triathlon European Championships