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28 May 2010 | in Triathlon, World University Championships

2010 WUC Triathlon: Interview with Iván Muñoz, Head of Spanish Team

“A Spanish athlete is likely to be on the podium”


Valencia - “Our goal is to end as high as possible in the ranking, both individually and by university teams. Our men’s team is well balanced, its quality being a key feature. I reckon some of its members could well make it to the podium.” Iván Muñoz is definitely confident of victory. He is the head of the Spanish delegation that will compete on May 30th in the 10th World University Triathlon Championship on Las Arenas Beach, in Valencia, Spain. More than 200 participants from 40 different countries have registered. The championship relies on collaboration from the Regional Government, Valencia's Provincial and Municipal Councils, and the Triathlon Federation of the Valencian Community.

In Muñoz’ account, both the Spanish men’s and women’s teams have a very high level and so they expect to rank among the top ten. These results would be very good, bearing in mind that world top athletes will take part. "We will also see the promising athletes, who will further progress and win a world cup in two or three years' time” says Muñoz.

The men’s list of the Spanish team includes Uxío Abuín, Peru Alfaro, Samer Ali Saad, Miguel Ángel Fidalgo, Albert Moreno and Pedro Miguel Serrano. And in the women’s category we have Elena Aguilar, Patricia Díaz, Estefanía Domínguez, Clara Fernández, María Ortega and Carolina Routier. Some of these athletes have already competed in international events with very good results, like Miguel Ángel Fidalgo, who was second in the European Championship in Athlone, Ireland, in 2009 and a finalist in the Spanish Championship in the under-23 category in 2008; Uxío Abuín is Spain’s current university champion and junior champion of duathlon, and Patricia Díaz, from the Canary Islands, was Spain’s champion twice in the under-23 category; she was sixth in the European Cup in Athlone last year.

Muñoz thinks that the strongest teams Spain will have to face are those from England, Italy, France and the US. But Valencia’s very fast course will be beneficial for the Spanish triathletes, who stand out in the swimming and running segments. “The bike course is flat, so it won’t make much of a difference. It will be the running race that will determine victory” explains the head of the Spanish delegation.

Muñoz also stated that the circuit of the WUC organised by València University is very attractive for both the athletes and the audience. "Competition is going to be tough, because the racing course is very fast. The triathletes will arrive at the running segment in large packs, without big distances between them”.

Already in Valencia since Thursday May 27th, the Spanish delegation is very happy to participate in such a great competition in its own country, more particularly in Valencia. “Competing at home is an honour, and also a factor for motivation. In addition to the advantages from the physiological viewpoint, such as being used to climate conditions and local times, running on a site where 90% of the audience support you is most rewarding" said Iván Muñoz.

In previous editions of the World University Triathlon Championship, which combines swimming, cycling and running, the Spanish athletes were amongst the top five finalists but “the prospects are even better this year” concluded Iván.

(Source: Magda Ruiz Brox, Media Officer 2010 WUC Triathlon)