It was one of the big questions heading into 2019: Would Javier Gómez Noya continue betting on long distance triathlon and fighting for the Ironman World Championship crown in Kona? Or would he return to the Olympic distance to try to conquer the gold in the next Tokyo 2020 Games?
Bearing in mind that other athletes have tried to step back down to Olympic distance in the past with very limited success. I remember seeing Tim Don racing Olympic distance and struggling to match the top end speed of the other athletes. His was an altruistic goal of getting Team GB more ITU points and therefore more athletes on the start line in London.
Well, ‘the Captain‘, 35, has solved the enigma this past Monday in Madrid. Javi will race the Olympic distance, though not exclusively.
He called 2018 his long-distance adventure. Gomez Noya finished 11th in the Kona World Championship last October and placed second in his Ironman debut in Cairns, Australia in June.
The Galician triathlete has announced that he will compete in the ITU Long Distance World Championship hosted by the Spanish Triathlon Federation in his home city Pontevedra in May and as well as the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice in September.
Gomez Noya will compete again in the ITU World Series of Triathlon in search of what would be his sixth world title in this format (2008, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015). He is competing with the clear intention of qualifying for the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020. He will fight for the elusive Olympic gold medal that is missing from his collection. That after getting silver in London 2012, and crashing out in training a month before Rio 2016.
In Addition the presence of Gomez Noya will improve Spain’s chances at scoring a medal in the first mixed team triathlon relay at the Olympic Games.
Javier Gomez Noya made his announcement at the headquarters of one of his sponsors, Banco Santander. During the press briefing, he stated that he will focus on short distance triathlon at least until June. Indicating that he would race the World Triathlon Series at first to see how his body will cope with the higher intensity effort. Racing long distance for a year has developed a completely different energy system to what is needed for short course events.
He further stated that once he knows that his body can deliver the speed that he needs he will shift his objective to qualifying for the Olympic Games.