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Battle for Olympic selection continues at World Triathlon Championships in Leeds



Katie Zaferes won silver at Leeds in 2019, in a historic season in which she won the overall title in the World Triathlon Series.

LEEDS, England – With less than two weeks to go until the U.S. Olympic triathlon team’s nomination, seven Americans will look to make a statement this weekend at the AJ Bell Triathlon World Championship Series in Leeds, England. The event is the final WTCS race and the penultimate overall race, in the Olympic and Paralympic qualifying window. A World Triathlon Para Series race is also planned in Leeds.

Paratriathletes will kick off the action on Saturday, June 5 at 9 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local time). On Sunday, June 6, elite women take center stage starting at 8:08 a.m. ET (1:08 p.m. local time), followed by elite men at 10:54 a.m. ET (3:54 p.m. local time). All events will be broadcast live on TriathlonLIVE.tv; monthly and annual subscriptions are available for purchase. The races will also be broadcast live on FloTrack with a subscription.

For the elite race of the triathlon world championship series, athletes will complete a 1,500-meter swim in Waterloo Lake in Roundhay Park, followed by a nine-lap, 40-kilometer race and a four-lap, 10-kilometer race. through the park. The World Triathlon Para Series event is a sprint distance, comprising 750m swimming, 20km cycling and 5km running.

Triathlon World Championship Series – Women

Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colorado) and Taylor Knibb (Washington, DC), the two Americans who have already struck their tickets for Tokyo, are not racing in Leeds.

The third and final female spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team will be named at the discretion of the U.S. Triathlon Games Athlete Selection Committee on June 16, making this weekend’s event the opportunity for three American women to advocate for the selection. Leeds is not an Olympic self-qualifier for the US team – the results here may rather be considered in discretionary selection from an athlete’s full summary of results since the start of the Olympic qualifying period ( March 2019).

Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) Is the top American on the start list in second place, behind the Dutch Maya Kingma. Spivey placed fourth overall in the 2019 World Triathlon Series, was the top American in fourth at the 2020 World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, and also placed fourth at the opening of the WTCS 2021 in Yokohama on May 15. Spivey is enjoying success in Leeds, winning his first career WTCS medal, a silver, here in 2017 and placing fourth in 2019.

2019 World Champion and current Olympic Qualifier Katie Zaferes (Cary, NC) will also line up at Leeds after winning silver here in 2019. Zaferes has had a dominant 2019 season, winning five of the eight WTS races and winning the series title. . She is in search of redemption after a 22nd place in Yokohama in May.

Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) Is also on the start list. After recovering from several injuries, Kasper returned to the international podium on May 23 for the first time since 2018 with a bronze medal at the Lisbon Triathlon World Cup.

American women will face stiff international competition from Flora Duffy, 2016 and 2017 Bermuda world champion; Vicky Holland, the 2018 world champion from Great Britain; and Lucy Charles-Barclay, triple silver medalist at the IRONMAN World Championships and once silver medalist at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships making her debut on the world triathlon circuit. For the full women’s start list, Click here.

Triathlon World Championship Series – Men

Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), Who became the first man to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic triathlon team with his bronze medal in Yokohama last month, is the top American on this week’s starting list. end at # 3. The United States will send three. men in Tokyo if three men remain in the top 30 of the world Olympic triathlon qualifying rankings by June 14. Currently Pearson is 16th, Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) Is 18th and Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.) Is number 28. The three athletes named to the US Olympic team are not necessarily the same three athletes. who get quota places by country. The final two places on the team will be named at the discretion of the USA Triathlon Games Athlete Selection Committee on June 16.

McElroy heads to Leeds after a fifth place finish at the Arzachena Triathlon World Cup last weekend. McElroy had a historic race in Leeds in 2019, winning silver to become the first American man in a decade to win a medal in a race in the triathlon world championship series. With Pearson’s bronze medal in Yokohama last month, he and McElroy join Jarrod Shoemaker, who accomplished the feat in 2009, as the only American men in history to win a medal at the WTCS level.

Also on the starting list are US National Team member Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), Who has a career best WTCS 12th finish, and Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), Who is making his debut. in WTCS.

American men will face stiff competition from Vincent Luis, the 2019 and 2020 world champion from France; current WTCS leader Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt, who won gold at the series opener in Yokohama; and 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain. Click here for the full men’s start list.

World Triathlon Para Series

Twelve American paratriathletes will also compete in Leeds in search of Paralympic ranking gear and points, which will help the United States earn quota places per country for the Paralympic Games and may be considered in discretionary selection. of the US Paralympic team. The full US Paralympic team will be named in early July.

Three American athletes who won their respective categories at the opening of the World Triathlon Para Series in Yokohama on May 15 – Kendall Gretsch (Downers, Grove, Ill., PTWC), Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas, PTS4) and Melissa Stockwell (Colorado Springs, Colorado, PTS2) – will be looking for back-to-back wins. Hailey Danz (Colorado Springs, Colorado, PTS2) will present some tough competition with her teammate Stockwell, as although Danz did not race in Yokohama, she has won a medal in every World Triathlon Para Series start since 2017.

Chris Hammer (Elkins, WV) will enter the men’s PTS5 category for the first time since 2019, when he won bronze at the World Paratriathlon Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio, PTS5), 2016 American Paralympic gold medalist, also returns for the first time since her bronze medal in Lausanne.

In the PTVI men’s category, seven-time world champion Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.) And guide Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.) Will face one of the strongest international fields of the day, along with compatriot Brad Snyder (Baltimore , Md.) And his guide, 2016 American Olympian Greg Billington (San Francisco, Calif.). Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tennessee) and guide Jillian Elliott (née Petersen; Gig Harbor, Wash.) Will make their 2021 season debut in the Women’s PTVI category.

Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colorado, PTWC), 2017 US National Champion in the PTWC Men’s category, is also set to compete in Yokohama; Adam Popp (Arlington, Va.), Three-time World Cup medalist in the men’s PTS2 category; and Eric McElvenny (Pittsburgh, PA), 2019 national runner-up in the men’s PTS4 category.

Click here for all paratriathlon start lists.

About the United States Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, offroad triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions over 4,000 events and connects with over 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multi-sport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the local level with athletes, coaches and race directors, as well as with the USA Triathlon Foundation, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing in international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is proud to be a member of the World Triathlon and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC).