British Triathlon performance director Brendan Purcell insists the importance of the Rio test event is not lost on him after naming the 11 athletes that will take part on August 1-2.
The test event will not only allow athletes to experience what the Rio 2016 Olympic triathlon course will be like, but will also give them a chance to qualify for the Games.
Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee were assured of places in the men’s race by virtue of their international medal winning success, whilst Non Stanford, Helen Jenkins, Vicky Holland and Jodie Stimpson have earned their places on the women’s start list.
In addition, last weekend’s European Cup in Antalya saw Mark Buckingham, Adam Bowden and India Lee meet the selection criteria.
And two further athletes, Tom Bishop and Aaron Harris, have been put forward following a British Triathlon selection panel meeting last week.
Purcell said: “The test event in Rio is the first of two assessment races this year that offer the opportunity to gain automatic nomination to the British Olympic Association for Rio 2016 selection.
“Athletes winning a medal in Rio, and at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago will be automatically put forward for selection.
“The emphasis at the test event, therefore, is to take athletes who have demonstrated the ability to perform under pressure, and to perform well on a course profile similar to what we are expecting in Rio.
“The test event is about individual performances, and the target is to get on the podium. We have seen performances of this level already this year, and many of our athletes have planned to be at their best in the latter part of the season.
“With leading international triathletes also wanting to make their mark at the test event, I fully anticipate it being one of the best races of the season in Rio in August.”
© Sportsbeat 2015