Former junior world champion Wian Sullwald will be hoping to remove any rust at the 2018 New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup on Sunday which will be his only race ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games.
The New Zealand race is Sullwald first since last year’s Weihai World Cup in September and after he survived a farm-attack in December.
“I am very excited to be here in New Plymouth. It’s been a long time since my last race,” Sullwald told the ITU website.
“There have been good preparations and with Commonwealth Games around the corner, I am feeling strong and super excited to test myself.
“It’s going to be a big test to see where my shape it. There’s no structure going into the race, more importantly racing is a lot more to me than just getting to the start line.”
Sullwald will be the only South African male athlete in the field while Commonwealth-bound Simone Ackermann and Gillian Sanders will be flying the flag in the women’s elite race.
Richard Murray and Henri Schoeman have been ripping up the international circuit in Sullwald’s absence since the start of the year.
Olympic bronze medallist Schoeman finished second at the Discovery Triathlon World Cup in February before winning the World Triathlon Series Abu Dhabi earlier this month.
Sullwald will be looking to ensure the New Plymouth title remain in South African hands after Murray won it in 2017.
Murray bagged two World Cup gold medals so far this season first winning back-to-back Cape Town titles before racing to victory at the ITU Mooloolaba event in Australia.