Gomez to make his full-distance debut at Ironman Cairns

Javier Gomez will compete in his first full-distance race at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns.

| April 6, 2018 | NEWS

Javier Gomez winning the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga.

Javier Gomez winning the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga.

Photo >Peter Jacob / spomedis

The long-awaited day is set for June 10. Triathlon fans have been chomping at the bit in anticipation of Javier Gomez moving up to full-distance racing and we now know where he'll start his run for Kona - the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns, Australia.

Gomez has won five ITU world championships, an Olympic silver medal, the Xterra world title and taken two Ironman 70.3 world titles, leaving precious little for him to strive for in the triathlon world other than an Ironman World Championship win. (OK, there is that elusive gold medal - and it would appear that Gomez isn't ruling out another go at the Olympics after missing out on Rio because of a broken elbow.)

“At 35, I feel good physically, I feel fast on the track and it motivates me to continue, so this year I am focused on long distance," Gomez says in a press release. "While I don’t have the experience of racing Ironman yet, my times in the water, the bike and the run are in a good level and I feel excited to train.”

At the end of last year Gomez hinted he would be looking at a June full-distance race.

“When I was looking at the calendar I always thought that Ironman Cairns would be the first option to do in my debut on the full distance. For me Cairns is a double objective, as the Asia-Pacific Championship it is a P4000 classification which offers maximum qualifying points which is the most important and second is the only Ironman race where I will be before Kona.”

“I do not have Ironman experience and I could have chosen some other Ironman race from Europe, it would be easier in travel, but Cairns has more heat, more humidity. I want to try to simulate the conditions and equate them with what I will find in Hawaii as much as possible. I hope to learn from Cairns and use the experience.”

“Competition and racing is difficult to simulate or reproduce in training, so we hope to get positive data from Cairns that we can use and will help to improve my performance. In Cairns I want to learn everything that is possible. It may not be optimal or sufficient to do just one Ironman, but many Ironmans cannot be done in one season.”

“In terms of my expectations, everything is new for me, new training programs, nutrition tricks, etc., so my main goal is to test my body for the full distance, which it is going to be a big challenge for me. Cairns is the only full distance I will do before the world championship, but I enjoy racing the best and most important races. Plus Australia is a country I have always enjoyed and I have good memories of.”

Gomez is planning to head to South Africa to defend his Ironman 70.3 world title, but will be mainly focused on Kona.

“It will be a tough race, with very good rivals, but I am focused on Kona. It is clear that I will fight and do my best, but I will not sacrifice my preparation for Kona for a gold in 70.3.”

“Kona is a very complicated race, I do not have the experience of having raced there, but I know the course. It is very difficult, first because the best athletes are at 100 percent and second because of the weather conditions. The wind is something that favors just a type of athlete and if you don’t go well in heat it is very difficult for you to ever be champion of the Ironman world. My motivation and all the effort that I put into my training every single day is to be there and fight against the best.”