Faris al Sultan, the captain of Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team, will compete in the first Ingolstadt Triathlon in Germany this weekend seeking to continue the winning streak following injury. After recently snatching first place at the annual Kirchbichl Triathlon in Austria, al Sultan is looking to add the crown in Bavaria to his list of sporting achievements.
Set in the largest German state, the gruelling Olympic distance triathlon, consisting of a 1.5km swim, a 40km city cycle and a 10km run, will certainly test his recovery from a fatigue fracture of the pelvis. With its relatively flat terrain, the course demands consistent pace, forcing competitors to push hard throughout, something al Sultan believes could play to his advantage. "After last week's performance I'm confident in my ability to pull in another good result," said the Abu Dhabi-based endurance stalwart. "I continue to improve as I return to peak condition after my injury; this will hopefully be reflected in my finishing position this weekend."
The newest event in the German racing calendar sold out within two weeks of its announcement and has attracted more than 1,000 competitors, strengthening the sport's recognition as one of the world's fastest growing. And al Sultan, the 2005 Ironman World Champion and principle for the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA)-backed endurance squad, sees the race as crucial training for future events, in particular the Ironman 70.3 in the UK and the demanding Ironman Regensburg in Germany.
"This event is vital to my training regime, the smaller races allow me to assess my performance and technique and give me the opportunity to hone my skills for events like the two European Ironman races, both of which are key for me this season," said al Sultan, who is widely regarded as one of the world's leading triathlon cyclists. Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team, created by the ADTA to further the emirate's performance athletics' credentials globally, will compete in more than 40 top international events this season, including Ironman 70.3 and the French Championships.
The outfit got off to a winning start in 2010 after team members, Ina Reinders and Jan van Berkel, made a clean sweep at the debut US$250,000 (Dh918,250) Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in March. Since then, the team has taken part in a number of events in Australia, Europe and the US.