Team USA (left) celebrate on the podium at the ITU World Triathlon Series on March 9, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. triathlon team continued its success in the opening weekend of the ITU World Triathlon Series season with a silver medal in the mixed team relay on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Seeded second behind Australia, the U.S. narrowly missed the top spot on the podium after Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle chased down Eli Hemming on the run for the win.
Australia finished in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 16 seconds, followed by the U.S. in 1:24:21. New Zealand rounded out the podium with a time of 1:24:31.
Also competing for the U.S. were Katie Zaferes, who won the individual women’s race on Friday, and Taylor Spivey, who finished just behind her in second place. Spivey gave the U.S. a five-second lead to kick things off before handing off to Ben Kanute. Australia and Germany made their way to the front of the pack but Zaferes turned in another strong performance and the U.S. took an 18-second lead into the final leg. Birtwhistle was hunting Hemming from the start, however. He caught him with 1,500 meters to go on the run.
Mixed team relay will make its Olympic debut in 2020 in Tokyo.