Gemmell to draw on last year's win
Thu, 18 Oct 2012 7:21p.m.
By Robert Lowe
Kris Gemmell will draw on his victory on the same Auckland course last year when he competes in what he expects will be his last elite triathlon.
On an emotional afternoon last November, he took out a World Cup event on the hilly inner city circuit, finishing ahead of Bevan Docherty in a New Zealand one-two.
The win came after a cousin was diagnosed with a brain tumour and Gemmell announced he would donate part of his prize money to cancer research.
"It's a race I'll never forget, that's for sure," he said.
"I'm hoping I can draw on those memories when it starts to get a little tough."
Emotions of a different kind will come into play in the world championship series grand final on Sunday, with Gemmell confirming that it is likely to be his swan song.
The 35-year-old two-time Olympian from Palmerston North said the sport had given him too much and he had too much respect for his rivals just to keep turning up.
About the only thing that would entice him to carry on would be if he won again in Auckland "and I have to come back for a three-peat".
Going back-to-back won't be easy - the world series is a tier above the World Cup and the grand final will feature a significantly stronger field.
The only notable absentee is Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, recovering from appendix surgery.
Brownlee's brother, Jonathan, and Spain's Javier Gomez - first and second on the points table and winners of bronze and silver respectively at the London Games - will be among those on the start line.
The hills make the Auckland course a different test from others in the series.
"The course will mean the best swim-bike-runner and strongest athlete will win on the day," Gemmell said.
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