Coast to Coast draws international influx

Last updated 05:00 04/02/2014

Relevant offers

Other Sports

All go for the Black Sticks men and women Kansas City Royals get rare postseason win NZ pitcher set for a key role in MLB playoffs NFL 'wrong' to penalise player for praying Two renowned freeskiers killed by an avalanche Olympics champion Michael Phelps arrested NFL star sprains ankle chasing peeing puppy MLB playoffs race to World Series wide open Violence incidents not hurting NFL's TV ratings NFL: Oakland Raiders fire coach Dennis Allen

Next week's Coast to Coast looks set to have the strongest international lineup in the event's 31-year history.

When the annual multisport race was first held in 1983, there were just three participants from outside New Zealand. Since then, it has attracted more than 1500 international competitors from 30 countries, including several international winners.

Race director Robin Judkins said they had received 90 international entrants for the 243-kilometre running, cycling and kayaking race, which will be held next Friday and Saturday. With entries still rolling in every day, that number was only likely to increase.

Interest has come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, Belgium, Brazil, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, the United States, Wales, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.

There had been a major surge from Great Britain with 35 entries received - the most ever. Australia has 33 competitors confirmed, with the US the next highest with 10.

"The impressive thing is that among New Zealand regions only Canterbury has more entries than the internationals," Judkins said.

"This is the biggest British entry we've ever had and it's also the first time any other country has outdone Australia."

Several overseas names could contend for the men's one-day race title with 25-year-old Australian Alex Houghton, who mixes triathlon and multisport successfully, Christchurch-based Brazilian Flavio Vianna and Swedish-based American Scott Cole potential challengers.

Adopted Kiwi winners are a familiar theme at the Coast to Coast. Emily Miazga was from Canada when she finished third in 2004, but never went home and after becoming a West Coaster went on to win three women's individual titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Elina Maki-Rautila, now Ussher, was originally from Finland, but now lives in Nelson with husband and five-time champion Richard Ussher.

She first made an impact in 2006, finishing second, before eventually winning the race in 2010 and 2012. She again looms as a favourite for this year's women's one-day individual prize.

The Coast to Coast traverses from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Sumner Beach on the Pacific Coast.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who would you most like to come to your aid after a road accident?

Mike Tyson - boxing

Lewis Hamilton - motorsport

Maria Sharapova - tennis

Valerie Adams - shot put

The Undertaker - WWE

Lindsey Vonn - skiing

Ana Ivanovic - tennis

Steven Adams - basketball

Rory McIlroy - golf

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content