USA Triathlon junior standouts Kevin McDowell and Kelly Whitley, both from Geneva, Ill., were officially announced by the United States Olympic Committee as members of Team USA for the first-ever Youth Olympic Games Friday. The USOC made its initial roster announcement in conjunction with the 99-day countdown to the Aug. 14 opening ceremonies.
Following qualifying performances at last month’s ITU Triathlon American Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in Monterrey, Mexico, McDowell and Whitley will travel to Singapore in August for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Triathlon is one of 26 sports slated for the debut Games, which are scheduled for Aug. 14-26.
McDowell, who was USAT’s 2009 Junior Elite Athlete of the Year, was victorious in Monterrey to earn his trip to Singapore. He logged a time of 53:46 in the sprint-distance event to win by 47 seconds over Mexico’s Octavio Oliveros. McDowell claimed the 2009 USAT Junior Elite National Championship and placed fourth at the 2009 ITU Junior Elite World Championship.
Whitley, who returned to multisport in 2010 after competing between the ages of 10-13, reached the Youth Olympic Games with a runner-up finish at the ITU qualifier. She closed strong over the final 100 meters to grab second place in 59:59 – just 13 seconds off winner Adriana Barraza of Mexico.
Both athletes are standout cross country runners at Geneva High School and train with the Multisport Madness Triathlon Team.
In total, 286 triathletes representing 67 nations participated in triathlon qualifying events for the Youth Olympic Games. A total of 64 athletes will participate in the Youth Olympic Games Triathlon (32 male, 32 female).
The girls’ triathlon is scheduled for the first day of competition on Aug. 15 at Singapore’s East Coast Park, followed by the boys’ race on Aug. 16.
In the host country of Singapore, thousands turned out to take part in celebratory events commemorating the 99-day countdown, ranging from athletic competitions and sports carnivals to fireworks displays.
Provided by USA Triathlon.