New Zealand triathlete Kris Gemmell is looking to go out with a
bang when he races in the ITU Grand Final in Auckland on
This weekend's season finale will be Gemmell's final Olympic-distance multisport race and a fitting way for him to bow out.
"I knew this was going to be a nice way to end," Gemmell told ONE News. "It is a rite of passage, we have come full circle. There was the first World Cup here in 1995 and now the last world championship event in 2012."
onenews.co.nz will be live streaming both ITU grand
finals from midday on Saturday and Sunday
Twelve months ago Gemmell emotionally won the test event in Auckland but it's going to take a huge effort from the 35-year-old to repeat that effort.
Nineteen of the world's top 20 are here, including Olympic medallists Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gómez.
"Last year was wonderful here at the test event and it went exactly to plan," Gemmell said.
"This year we have a different calibre of field&. this is world triathlon series grand final and all the notes are on the table.
"I know the athletes here are the best athletes in the world and I expect a pretty big challenge as I got last year."
Last year he dedicated his win to his cousin Tim, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour but Gemmell says there is still plenty of motivation.
"Tim is well but there are other people in the world who aren't so well from this rubbish disease and then it's my last race in the ITU circuit," he said
"So I can channel that emotion hopefully and use it as a good drive. I'm sure it will get me up the hills faster."
Auckland's weather is expected to play a huge part this weekend. Blustery south-west winds and driving rain is on the menu and Gemmell is welcoming it.
"Definitely the weather plays to my strengths. It is good for everyone else too. Those Brownlee boys are from Yorkshire mate and they enjoy the rubbish weather as well. But it's just going to make it harder for everyone. "
Gemmell is usually one of the triathletes with a smile on his face but you get the feeling this weekend will see a cross-section of emotions.
"I'm always having a good time. I still wouldn't be doing this sport if I wasn't having a good time. It's the one reason why I'm still here to be honest. "
"I really enjoy the sport, love it. It has given me a lot the last 16 years. I respect it a lot, respect my competitors, I respect the people who have supported me on this journey and I would like to pay them back with a great effort."