HOPES HIGH WITH WORLD CHAMP OUT
BEIJING Wednesday 7 September: JUST two days out from his international triathlon debut, Michael Milton's chances of success have been buoyed by the news that current world champion, Matt Perkins (US) will not race at the World Paratri Championship in Beijing.
"I don't know why Matt won't be there and it would have been great to test myself against him but his absence certainly increases my chances of finishing in a respectable position. I'm still a rookie so all I am aiming for is to learn a lot. Anything else is a bonus," said Milton who arrived in Beijing late yesterday before Friday's race. He will fly home on Saturday.
"It's very different to skiing where I would be away for months at a time, training and competing on snow in the US and Europe. Now I can be away for four nights and come home to be with my kids and return to training. It's great."
Milton is one of nine athletes who will compete in his class in China at a venue he has some experience of.
"I raced the same road bike course in 2008 at the Beijing Paralympic Games so I know what to expect which, as a rookie, may be the only advantage I have."
And that's just the way he likes it.
"The classification system for ski racing is one of the reasons I retired. I went from racing against guys with one leg to skiing against anyone who could stand up, including single arm amputees and people with two prosthetic legs. It just wasn't a level playing field anymore. In Beijing I will race against eight other men with one leg which basically means talent and dedication should win,"said an excited Milton.
After the ITU World Championship Series Final, Milton's next paratri event will be the Noosa Triathlon on Sunday 30 October. He also has plans to compete at the 2012 World Championship event in New Zealand.