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More than 500 U.S. Amateur Triathletes Set to Compete for World Titles in Rotterdam

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 14, 2017, 4:34 p.m. (ET)

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — More than 500 of the United States’ top amateur triathletes will compete for world titles this Sunday at the 2017 ITU Age Group Sprint and Standard Triathlon World Championships, held as part of the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam.

USA Triathlon’s Team USA is comprised of the amateur athletes who represent the United States at each ITU World Championship event. The athletes racing the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course at the Standard Triathlon World Championships qualified for Team USA by earning top-18 finishes in their respective age groups at the 2016 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Omaha, Nebraska. 

The 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run Sprint World Championships will be contested in a draft-legal format for the second consecutive year. Athletes qualified with either a top-eight finish at the 2016 Age Group Sprint National Championships in Omaha or a top-10 finish at the 2016 USA Triathlon Draft-Legal World Qualifier in New Orleans. 

The U.S. contingent hails from 48 states and Washington, D.C., with athletes ranging in age from 16 to 87 years old. California is the most represented state with 77 athletes, followed by Colorado with 37 and Florida with 31.

The Standard World Championships will feature five returning gold medalists from Team USA: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn., F35-39), Kyle Welch (Sunnyvale, Calif., M55-59), Martha Whitacre (Paris, Ill., F60-64), Peggy McDowell-Cramer (Santa Monica, Calif., F75-79) and Vern Holthouse (Acampo, Calif., M75-79).

Defending standard-distance silver medalists include Steph Popelar (Parker, Colo., F50-54), Sibyl Jacobson (New York, N.Y., F75-79) and Lorrie Beck (Williamstown, N.J., F60-64). Also on the start list are returning bronze medalists Laura McDonald (Castle Rock, Colo., F35-39), Thomas Emerick (San Francisco, Calif., M50-54) and Kathryn Wiberg (West Boylston, Mass., F70-75).

Four gold medalists from the 2016 Sprint World Championships will be in Rotterdam to defend their titles: Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa., M60-64), Jim Sumara (Jacksonville, Fla., M65-69), Arby Kitzman (Morro Bay, Calif., M75-79) and Winston Allen (St. Augustine, Fla., M85-89).

Michele Tuttle (Columbia, Md., F50-54) is back on the start list for Sprint Worlds after taking silver in her age division last year. Returning sprint bronze medalists include Stacy Sweetser (Amherst, N.H., F40-45), Rebecca Smith (West Chester, Pa., F55-59) and Steve Gallagher (Winter Park, Fla., M60-65). 

At the 2016 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico, Team USA raced to 49 world championship medals between the sprint and standard events, including 17 golds, 12 silvers and 20 bronzes.

The ITU Age Group Sprint and Standard Triathlon World Championships are part of the four-day ITU World Triathlon Grand Final happening in Rotterdam this week. The week also showcases world championship events for elite athletes, paratriathletes, juniors and U23 athletes. Visit for full coverage of each race, and follow @TriathlonLive on Twitter for live updates during each race.

Complete start lists are available at, and complete event information for the 2017 Rotterdam ITU World Triathlon Grand Final can be found at

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).