Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland is hopeful that the roar of a hometown crowd will help propel her to a top-eight finish and a trip to Beijing.

“I know what I have to do,” said Sweetland, 19, who made history last year when she became the youngest Canadian to win a triathlon World Cup race.

In three weeks, Sweetland will fight for a spot on Canada’s Olympic team during the 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships in English Bay. She needs a top-eight finish to qualify for the 2008 Games.

“I have nothing to lose really I only have something to gain,“ said Sweetland, who joined her training partner Simon Whitfield at an event yesterday afternoon to promote the Vancouver Triathlon.

Whitfield, who captured gold in 2000 Sydney, Australia despite crashing during the cycling portion of the race, won the Vancouver Triathlon World Cup in 2007.

“It’s a hometown race, with the backdrop of the city and English Bay, it’s going to be great,” Whitfield said.

Sweetland said she got a taste of racing before a “hometown” crowd when she placed second at a World Cup event in Edmonton last year.

“There’s really nothing like it when the whole crowd is screaming your name. It’s pretty cool.”

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