Bout of flu hampers Gemmell's race form

01:43, Jan 31 2009

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Palmerston North's Kris Gemmell will head to Germany to recharge his batteries following a disappointing showing at the final ITU World Cup triathlon race in Mexico at the weekend.

Gemmell, who will pack-up his European training base in a fortnight, failed to finish during windy race conditions in Cancun, Mexico. The Palmerston North local arrived at the first transition one minute behind the main pack and abandoned his ninth World Cup event of the season during the bike leg.

Gemmell said he was unsure of his form heading into the event and that his preparation had been affected by a bout of the flu.

"I had managed to stay healthy all year, but it finally caught up with me before I was to race in Dallas at the United States open. The flu hung around for a week-and-a-half and so my training has been compromised heading into this race," he said.

Gemmell will train in New Zealand over the summer and is expected to attend the Manawatu Sports Awards on November 23. He will be based in Palmerston North for five months until April next year.

Despite the recent set-back, Gemmell has achieved good results on the World Cup circuit this year including qualification for next year's Beijing Olympics. He said he was proud of his consistency during the 2007 season and his self-belief had grown.

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"I have maintained a top ranking all year and have finished in the top five in six out of the nine World Cup races I have competed in" he said.

"I have the confidence in myself that when I'm in good shape, I know I can be on or near the podium every time."

Canada's Simon Whitfield collected his third World Cup title of the year in Cancun. New Zealand's Bevan Docherty finished in 12th place, with Terenzo Bozzone 24th.

Manawatu Standard