Germany’s Timo Bracht and Australia’s Rebekah Keat will head into Sunday’s race as firm favourites to take the 2012 SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia race.
A win at the IRONMAN 70.3 Shepparton recently will give Keat a shot of confidence going into the Busselton race, surprising herself at the pace she set.
“I was surprised at how quick I went actually, my coach kept saying be confident the work was done before Kona, your fitness will be there,” said Keat. “It was and I was happy to get another win there and the record.”
Gold Coast based Keat has previously won on this notoriously flat and fast course, so knows what she needs to do come Sunday if she is to break the tape first.
“I need to pace myself, eat and drink enough and be prepared for a tough day,” continued Keat. “The time trial position for five hours is a long time on the bars with such a flat bike you need to be ready mentally to have laser focus. The racecourse is nice and fast, perfect for the last race of my season.”
Keat will be challenged by IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie champion Britta Martin and Bree Wee of Kailua-Kona following her break through win at IRONMAN Louisville this year.
Bracht goes into the race off the back of a solid race at the IRONMAN ® World Championship in Kona where he finished sixth. The towering German has been a consistent performer in Hawaii, collecting six top-15 finishes.
37-year-old Bracht, a two-time winner of IRONMAN Europe, along with IRONMAN victories in Florida, South Africa, France, Germany and Arizona says he is confident he can defend his title in Busselton despite, some minor infections.
“The last two years I was in the IRONMAN races after Hawaii in very good form with two wins,” said Bracht. “This year it is a bit complicated, because I struggled with a few colds after I returned from Hawaii. But I think I still can defend my title.”
The Australian force will be spearheaded by past IRONMAN Western Australia champions Jason Shortis and Mitchell Andersen. Shortis finished third last year and will have to match pace with Bracht on the bike to put himself in a position to challenge the German.
A fourth place for Matt White at IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah will see the South Australian among the medal contenders. White has posted some solid results in the back end of the year, including another fourth place at IRONMAN Cairns.
Once again this event has attracted a competitive professional field that will compete alongside 1,500 age group athletes at SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia 2012 and IronKids Busselton. The professional field boasts internationals from, USA, Germany, New Zealand, Great Britain, Japan, France, Canada, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic all vying for the prestigious title.
The ninth edition of the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia takes place this Sunday in picturesque Busselton, Western Australia approximately 2.5 hours drive South of Perth. The region’s crystal clear waters and iconic Tuart forests will play host to 1,500 athletes and many more supporters from across the globe as they take on an incredibly fast and scenic course