IRISH OLYMPIC HOPEFUL, Gavin Noble, has received a boost with confirmation that he will have a start at this weekend’s points scoring World Triathlon Series race in Madrid.
Noble will race alongside Aileen Morrison in the Spanish capital, where the pair are due to secure qualification for this summer’s Olympics.
Morrison used Sunday’s highly competitive field at the French Grand Prix in Dunkerque as preparation, finishing in fourth place behind former Junior and U23 World Champion Emma Jackson, 2011 Sprint World Champion Barbara Riveros Diaz and World Number two Andrea Hewitt.
Meanwhile 20 year old Ben Shaw beat off stiff competition in China to finish second in an ITU Asian Cup in a time of 1:50:49.
Shaw’s running has improved dramatically in recent months and his 33min 56sec 10 kilometre run was enough to pull clear of 36 of the 37 starters.
Over in Lanzarote, a team of 40 Irish athletes took part in what is considered the toughest Ironman triathlon in the world consisting of a 3.8 kilometre swim in the Atlantic Ocean, a 180 kilometre cycle in the island winds, followed by a full marathon in 30 degree heat.
Competitors swim out at the Lanzarote Ironman.
Dundalk strong man Bryan McCrystal was best of the Irish with an impressive ninth place finish in the pro division.
McCrystal completed the 3.8k swim in one hour three minutes, powered through the 180k cycle leg at over 35kph for five hours three minutes, before running the marathon in a time of three hours nine minutes, giving him a finish time of nine hours 24 minutes in the toughest Ironman course in the world.