Saturday, 12 November 2011 02:30
By caribarena news
The level of competition for the first-ever Digicel Wadadli Tinman half-iron distance triathlon has stepped up a notch with the confirmed attendance of one of Argentina’s most accomplished triathletes.
Claudio Alejandro Delpueche has spent the last 25 years traversing the globe bagging numerous titles in over 400 races that he has competed in across 40 countries. Having competed in every distance available, from sprint triathlons to the ultimate Ironman distance, the pro-triathlete has declared the half-iron distance his favoured and strongest event.
Now, he has his sights firmly set on Antigua & Barbuda’s half-iron distance race, and is among the favourites to be crowned the first ever Digicel Wadadli Tinman.
Delpueche explained that his decision to come to the island originated from a chance meeting at the ALBA games in Venezuela with two of Antigua’s top triathletes - Wayne Henry and Andre Simon.
“It was a great opportunity to meet athletes from Antigua & Barbuda months ago," he said. "It was so great that I started working with them also. To see the work and dedication on their part was motivation to be part of what those athletes are and be in the event and make us one triathlete more."
Delpueche, who has been coaching several national triathletes in preparation for the grueling Digicel Wadadli Tinman in January, has spent the last 15 years of his career juggling a coaching and a competitive career in the sport.
As a coach, Claudio’s achievements include currently having two triathletes in the highest global circuit and recently the classification of a Paraguayan triathlete to the Pan American Games. His coaching career has also taken him to places he would not have expected, and given him a taste of the glamorous Hollywood life.
“During my time in California, I had the great opportunity to work in Hollywood with several actors including No Doubt, and Real Andrews (who played Marcus Tagger in General Hospital). They both managed to complete the Ironman world championship in Hawaii twice,” Delpueche said.
“Currently, I am training and compete with Robin Williams, Tom Cruise, Maxine Bahns, Alexandra Paul (Baywatch), Jose Solano (Baywatch) and many more," he said. "Today there are many actors involved in the sport and my favourite event is in San Diego, CA - the Challenge Athlete Foundation Half Ironman, where many actors and celebrities of different sports get together for a great cause” Delpueche said.
Organizer of the Digicel Wadadli Tinman Cleofoster Harris said the Argentinian’s presence is a massive boost to the event in its inaugural year.
“I know last year St Kitts & Nevis brought down the then reigning Ironman World Champion Chris 'Macca' McCormack to race there," he said. "They have been doing triathlons there for several years now, so for us to have one of Argentina’s finest athletes come to Antigua in the first year of this race is pretty amazing. And word is, there might be more coming."
The experienced athlete is also hoping to lend his vast coaching experience to the development of triathlons in the country during his stay, and the Antigua and Barbuda Triathlon Association is working on arrangements for him to run a coaching course off the back of the Digicel Wadadli Tinman.
It’s something the Argentinian is excited about, and he is confident the talent is available on the island to develop world beaters.
“The triathlon is new in the Caribbean, and is new sport in world," he noted. "In the past I participated in other training programs which led to several top-level triathletes in the world. New blood is something that you find in the Caribbean and like Jason Wilson from Barbados (who placed 7th at the recent Pan American Games) there will be others that will be appear and have the opportunity to.
“It’s thanks to events such as the Digicel Wadadli Tinman which will lead to and motivate new triathletes and new opportunities…. and having the opportunity will motivate more kids to get involved and succeed as a person, athlete, plus the organisation and the entire country will just be proud. Best wishes and see you in the beach... where the triathlons start!”
The Digicel Wadadli Tinman is a unique sporting challenge where competitors in four sports; swimming, cycling, running and triathlon compete over a gruelling 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile cycle and 13.1-mile run on January 29, 2012.
The Digicel Wadadli Tinman is made possible by support from its sponsors: Digicel, the Observer Media Group, the American University of Antigua (AUA), Xtreme Health and Fitness, Cedars Pottery, and Adventure Antigua. This event is hosted by the Wadadli Triathlon Club and endorsed by the Antigua and Barbuda Triathlon (ABTRI) Association and Ministry of Sports.
Additional excerpts from the interview conducted with Claudio by the Wadadli Triathlon Club are shown below:
1. What's your Name? Age? And where are you from?
Claudio Alejandro Delpueche, 40 years old born and raised in Puerto Madryn, Patagonia ARGENTINA.
2. How long have you been involved in triathlon and tell us a bit about how first got involved in the sport?
I started with my first triathlon in 1986, at that time it was a very new sport in my country and I am a very curious person. I remember my first event with the participation of 12 people I managed to cross the finish line in last place, was that my great motivation to become a true triathlete, that day I was rewarded by the challenge of achieving of my the goal .... get to the finish line, and I did that.
3. Why did you choose triathlon?
The great challenge of complete my first triathlon distance was amazing, the feelings was great, I remember coming home after the race super tired but happy and I sleep, rest .... For hours...it was amazing too.
Playing football was not compared, in football depended on my team a triathlon depended on my effort and dedication to learn... discover my true potential.
3. I understand you used to be a professional athlete. Tell us about some of your more memorable experiences as a professional athlete?
Becoming a PRO, was like any another professional person. With the request of a lot more work responsibility, dedication and commitment. The amazing thing was, that was not hard, because my passion and love for the sport.
The relationship with the sponsor was very important and determines many times a lots of simplicity to be a better athlete, the sponsor are the ones who allowed me to get up high, every day. Memorable experience, no doubt my first win as professional was incredible, for all that hard work, for what my sponsor expected, my coach, family and friends, watching my father's face was amazing (he was my number one fan) after the race. Achieving a first position, being in the top of the podium and know that you can, it was amazing... So that charged the battery even more.
4. You have been involved in triathlon for many years now. Looking back on your career what are some of your proudest moments and biggest achievements?
I am completing 25 years as a triathlete, and I am proud to look back and first continue to be a triathlete, having completed over 400 triathlons over 40 countries is wonderful, also from the last 15 years I been coaching peoples all around the world, engage new generations in the sport, engage peoples to a new lifestyle through better quality of life that no doubt the triathlon will provide.
5. Triathlon is a very difficult and challenging sport. Where do you find the motivation to keep at it after so many years?
THE CHALLENGE. Like in my first triathlon, the lifestyle, the training, the friends involved now and respect by many people for the work done
6. I understand you have also been coaching for some time now. What are some of the biggest achievements you have had in your coaching career?
As a coach, the achievements is the gratitude of many who today thanks me for found a place as a triathletes, have two triathletes in the highest global circuit and recently the classification of a Paraguayan triathlete to the Pan American Games.
7. I understand also that you have trained some famous people? Who are those people and how did you end up being their coach?
During my time in California I had the great opportunity to work in Hollywood with several actors including No Doubt, and Real Andrews (who played Marcus Tagger in General Hospital). They both managed to complete the Ironman world championship in Hawaii twice. Currently I am training and compete with Robin Williams, Tom Cruise, Maxine Bahns (She's the one), Alexandra Paul (Baywatch), Jose Solano (Baywatch) and many more... Today there are many actors involved in the sport and my favourite event is in San Diego, CA The Challenge Athlete Foundation Half Ironman, where many actor and celebrity of different sports get together for a great cause.
8. You are going to be one of the most high profile athletes coming to the Wadadli Tinman half-iron distance triathlon. Why did you decide to come to this event?
It was a great opportunity to meet athletes from Antigua and Barbuda months ago, was great to started working with them also and see the work and dedication on their part was motivation to be part of what those athletes are and be in the event us a one triathlete more.
10. Triathlon is relatively young in the Caribbean, yet many Caribbean athletes have had a lot of success. For example Barbados' Jason Wilson just placed 7th at the Pan American Games. Do you think there is enough potential in the Caribbean for Caribbean triathletes to become among the best in the world?
The triathlon is new in the Caribbean, and is new sport in world , in the past I participate in other training programs which lead to several top-level triathletes in the world, new blood is something that you find in the Caribbean and liked Wilson from Barbados also will be other that will be appear and have the opportunity too, and thank to events such as this would lead and motivate new triathletes, new opportunity.... and have the opportunity will motive more kids to get involve and success us a person, athlete, plus the organisation and the entire country will just be proud. Best wishes and see you in the beach... where the triathlons start!