Aileen Reid is set to lead the Irish challenge as the World Triathlon Series hits Yokohama, Japan this weekend.
The Londonderry star will be joined by fellow Irish team-mates Bryan Keane (Cork) and Russell White (Banbridge) competing in the men’s race.
Reid goes into Yokohama ranked seventh on the start line followed her excellent seventh place finish on the Gold Coast last time out, and wants to continue to contend in the top 10 following some disappointing early season results.
“I just didn’t hit those first two races right and by the time I got to the third race (Gold Coast) I was ready to go,” she said.
“I really wanted to become a consistent athlete where I was always having good results in the top 10.”
Gwen Jorgenson goes into the women’s race as the clear favourite as she looks to continue her winning streak with Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand and Barbara Riveros of Chile ranked second and third.
Reid’s best result in Yokohama was a fourth place finish in 2011 but the London Olympian is in good form and looking for another top result to build on her Gold Coast top 10.
“I’ve been to Yokohama maybe four or five times I think and it’s a great place, the people are so friendly,” she added.
“It’s a challenging course with maybe 77 corners on the whole course, so lots of spikes in your power profile.”
In the men’s race the London Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee will likely battle it out with the Spanish trio of Gomaz, Mola and Alarza for the win.
Irish eyes will be on Bryan Keane and Russell White who line up wearing number 39 and 65 respectively. Keane is coming off the back of an impressive performance at the Chengdu World Cup where he finished fifth, just nine seconds off the podium.
The Cork man said he was targeting two big results and with one in the bag he’ll be hoping for another this weekend.
While ranked 39th on the start line the former international cyclist and cross country runner has the potential to break into the top 20 or better provided he can make it into the leading bike pack after the swim.
Russell White, a relative rookie at World Series level finished 45th in Cape Town and will be looking to produce another front pack swim which would set him up for a great race.