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Matthew Wright in strong form heading into CAC Games

Matthew Wright in strong form heading into CAC Games

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Matthew Wright will be competing in his second CAC Games on July 5th, 2023 in El Salvador. He comes into the Games in strong form as Barbados’ Top Triathlete showcased his exceptional athleticism and determination on the World Triathlon stage. As part of his CAC preparations his journey took two stops at the 2023 Europe Triathlon Cups in Rzeszow, Poland on June 10th and Kitzbuhel, Austria June 17th.

The Rzeszow event encompassed a 1500m swim, 40km bike (6 laps) and a 10km run (4 laps) in 22-degree weather, both on land and water. The technical course was a challenge for Wright who had a below-par swim to start. Wright exited the water 40 seconds behind the 10-man lead group and found himself in a large group of approximately 15 to 20 triathletes.
The Rzeszow event encompassed a 1500m swim, 40km bike (6 laps) and a 10km run (4 laps) in 22-degree weather, both on land and water. The technical course was a challenge for Wright who had a below-par swim to start. Wright exited the water 40 seconds behind the 10-man lead group and found himself in a large group of approximately 15 to 20 triathletes.

The tight course didn’t help the chase which became quite difficult and after three laps of six, Wright ended up behind by a minute and 30 seconds in the 40km ride. Going into the run in 20th position, Wright kept his own pace and by the last lap managed to make a compelling move through the pack to have one of the fastest runs (33:06 minutes) of the day in to capture 13th place in a really close battle with the top 10 riders finishing split seconds apart from each other.

Wright finished in an overall time of 1 hour, 49 minutes and 47 seconds. First place went to Simon Henseleit of Germany in 01:47:50 hours, followed by Tjebbe Kaindl of Austria in 01:48:04 hours and Nathan Lessmann of France for third in 01:48:36 hours.
Wright finished in an overall time of 1 hour, 49 minutes and 47 seconds. First place went to Simon Henseleit of Germany in 01:47:50 hours, followed by Tjebbe Kaindl of Austria in 01:48:04 hours and Nathan Lessmann of France for third in 01:48:36 hours.

Wright noted “I should have been fighting for the podium, but instead I was fighting for 13th because of the swim and the lack of execution on the bike, a very frustrating race”.

A few days later in Kitzbuhel, Austria, Wright managed to rebound to captured 7th place in what would be his best European Cup finish yet. The 2023 Europe Triathlon Kitzbuhel Cup comprised of a 750m swim, 20km bike (4 laps) and a 5km run of 2 laps. Wright once again the only athlete from the Caribbean region matched up against a field of 70 competitors. With another disappointing swim, Wright missed the lead group of 7 after exiting the water about 15 seconds back and had to settle in a large group of about 25 triathletes for the 20km bike.
A few days later in Kitzbuhel, Austria, Wright managed to rebound to captured 7th place in what would be his best European Cup finish yet. The 2023 Europe Triathlon Kitzbuhel Cup comprised of a 750m swim, 20km bike (4 laps) and a 5km run of 2 laps. Wright once again the only athlete from the Caribbean region matched up against a field of 70 competitors. With another disappointing swim, Wright missed the lead group of 7 after exiting the water about 15 seconds back and had to settle in a large group of about 25 triathletes for the 20km bike.

Taking the charge, Wright and a few others including Austrian local Tjebbe Kaindl, pushed to work their way closer to the lead pack pulling within eight seconds with an impressive bike leg of 25:28, which matched the bike time of overall winner Samuele Angelini of Italy. Wright led into the transition of the run and led out of the group of 25 but found it challenging to keep up having fought so hard on the bike and as a result lost 10 seconds in the first kilometer which was a huge blow in the 5km run. Although frustrated, Wright managed to pull back in the second and final lap to claw his way into seventh.

Angelini (Italy) took first place in an overall time of 50:45 minutes. Second place went to Jannik Schaufler of Germany in 50:49 minutes and Esteban Basanta Fouz of Spain in 50:53 minutes. Wright finished 10 seconds shy of fourth place in a time of 51:15 for seventh position. Wright commented “overall I executed a much better race than in Poland. I am much happier with where I came out and it gives me a lot of confidence going into CAC games in two weeks’ time”.

Wright is looking to deliver a strong performance at the 2023 San Salvador Central American and Caribbean Games with a podium finishes in his sights. Matthew is looking to improve on his 2018 finish where he suffered a bike mechanical issue which caused him to finish in 12th place. He will be joined by teammate Niel Skinner, who is competing in his first CAC Games. Both will compete in the Individual Triathlon event and based on their combined results there is the possibility of earning a triathlon team medal for Barbados. For a complete list of Matthew’s race results and more information about the 2023 European Cups, please visit: https://triathlon.org/.

The success of the Wright’s endeavours on the world circuit would not have been possible without the dedication and support of numerous individuals and organizations. BFIT expresses its gratitude to Matthew Wright‘s training partners at the High Performance Centre in Wales and Coach, Luke Watson, the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes and the Arts & Sports Fund for their contributions and assistance.

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