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Ironman professionals can breathe a sigh of relief—Gomez will continue to focus on Olympic-distance events.
Following his Olympic silver medal performance in London, Javier Gomez went on to win the Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 Elite Cup in early September. A rule introduced earlier this year by the World Triathlon Corporation allows the Hy-Vee winner to be eligible to compete at the other world championship events (70.3 Worlds in Las Vegas and the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii), given that they validate their entries.
Racing Hy-Vee and now the Xterra World Championships next weekend proves he’s up for unique challenges. “I like to try different things,” Gomez says. “Xterra is something is different, I’ve never done it before, and I have no idea how I’m going to go there. I just thought it could be fun doing something different in a great place like Maui.”
He hasn’t spent much time on a mountain bike and, although he hopes to do well, he says it’s not a big deal if he doesn’t. The race is one week after this Sunday’s ITU Grand Final in Auckland. “There’s just no pressure at all,” he says. “After the Olympics, the second I got the medal the pressure was gone. For this race, I know I have a chance to be world champion and I know it’s not easy, but I’ve got a feeling that the important things are done this year so I’m pretty relaxed.”
Gomez continued to race after the Olympics, winning Hy-Vee and taking second at both ITU series races in Stockholm and Yokohama. His potential as a long-course athlete has a lot of people excited—and a lot of people nervous—but he says he doesn’t plan on jumping the distance any time soon.
“I’m just focusing on the ITU for the next four years. I might try some 70.3s or non-drafting races, but the main focus is ITU Olympic distance races.”
As for Kona? He says, “Not yet, not in the next four years.”
Watch Gomez go head-to-head with Jonathan Brownlee this Sunday. Here’s how to watch.