COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today named Katie Zaferes as the sixth and final member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, which will compete at Copacabana Beach as part of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) fulfills the qualification criteria outlined in USA Triathlon’s Olympic Games Athlete Selection Procedures as the top-ranked woman in the organization’s Objective Rankings System. Zaferes earned the third spot on the women’s squad, joining Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) and Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.), who automatically qualified for the team at the Olympic test event on Aug. 2, 2015 in Rio.
Zaferes scored at the top of the rankings with a sixth-place finish on Aug. 2 in Rio, as well as a second-place finish at ITU World Triathlon Stockholm on Aug. 22, 2015. She also was sixth at the final U.S. qualification event on May 14 in Yokohama, Japan, finishing as the second American behind fellow 2016 U.S. Olympic qualifier Jorgensen. Zaferes posted six podium finishes in ITU World Triathlon Series events during the 2015 season, and finished the season ranked No. 5 in the world.
“It means so much to me to be named to the 2016 Rio Olympic Team,” Zaferes said. “In a country where the women's field is so competitive, I am honored to get the opportunity to represent the USA. I can't wait to join Gwen and Sarah in Rio — I have had high hopes of joining them after finishing on the podium with them twice last year.”
“We are excited to confirm Katie to the 2016 Olympic Team,” said Andy Schmitz, USA Triathlon High Performance General Manager. “In addition to Katie’s six individual WTS medals, she joined with Gwen and Sarah to achieve two U.S. WTS podium sweeps in 2015, making this the most formidable team we have confirmed for the Olympic Games.”
The nomination process for Zaferes comes after the completion of item 1.3.2 in the Athlete Selection Procedures, which required the Elite Athlete Selection Committee to convene to determine whether a discretionary selection was warranted.
The six athletes (three women and three men) named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team are Zaferes, Jorgensen, True, Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.), Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.) and Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.). Jorgensen and True competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games, while Rio will be the first Games appearance for Zaferes and all three men.
The United States is one of only four nations to field a full team of a maximum of six athletes, along with Australia, Great Britain and Spain. The triathlon events will take place at 11 a.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) on Aug. 18 (men) and Aug. 20 (women), with the main venue set at Copacabana Beach.
All qualifications and nominations to the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team are pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).