COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Eight U.S. elite triathletes are set to compete this Saturday in Hamburg, Germany, at the fifth ITU World Triathlon Series stop of the season, as women’s WTS rankings leader Katie Zaferes headlines the U.S. contingent. The ITU Mixed Relay World Championships follow on Sunday, and the U.S. team will be chasing gold after winning the ITU Mixed Relay World Series race in Nottingham, England, in June.
Both the individual WTS races and the Mixed Relay World Championships will be broadcast live at triathlonlive.tv. The WTS races will also air live on NBC’s Olympic Channel, with men’s race coverage beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET (4:30 p.m. local time) and the women’s at 12:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. local time). Visit nbcsports.com for a complete schedule of Olympic sport broadcasts and channel information.
ITU World Triathlon Series Hamburg
Saturday’s WTS race will feature a 750-meter swim through the Alster tributary of the Elbe River, a 21-kilometer bike on city streets and a 5-kilometer run finishing in Hamburg’s central square, Rathausmarkt.
As the current WTS leader, Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) is No. 1 on the start list for the elite women. After crashing out of the first stop of the series in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Zaferes has medaled in three straight WTS events with a bronze in Bermuda, a silver in Yokohama, Japan, and a bronze in Leeds, England.
Zaferes will have stiff competition in Hamburg. Two-time ITU world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, ranked fourth in the WTS standings, returns to the start list after sitting out Leeds with a foot injury. Great Britain’s Vicky Holland (No. 2), the Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer (No. 3) and Japan’s Yuko Takahashi (No. 5) will also be medal threats.
Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) will be chasing her first individual WTS podium of the season after narrow fourth-place finishes in Abu Dhabi and Bermuda. Kasper had a standout 2017 season that included a fourth-place WTS final ranking, a fourth-place finish in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and a bronze medal in Yokohama.
Also competing for the U.S. women are Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) and Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), each of whom has one career WTS medal. Spivey claimed silver last year in Leeds, Cook took the win in Edmonton, Canada, in 2016, and Knibb placed second to Duffy in Edmonton last year.
For the complete women’s start list, click here.
Leading the start list for the elite men is two-time ITU world champion Mario Mola of Spain. Two French athletes, Vincent Luis and Pierre Le Corre, are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) and Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) will represent the U.S. in the men’s race. Hemming has had a series of strong performances this season, achieving a career-best 11th-place in Bermuda before earning the ITU Mixed Relay World Series gold in Nottingham alongside U.S. teammates Zaferes, Kasper and McElroy.
Pearson is in his debut season as an elite. He finished an impressive seventh at his first elite race, the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup, and earned his first pro podium on June 23 at a European Cup in Wuustwezel, Belgium.
McElroy started his season with two consecutive bronze medals at the Mooloolaba and New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cups. He earned a career-best 17th-place WTS finish in Yokohama before helping the U.S. Mixed Relay Team to the win in Nottingham.
For the complete men’s start list, click here.
ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships
On Sunday, a team of four select athletes will look to bring the United States back to the top of the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships podium. Racing is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local time).
In 2017, the U.S. team of Kasper, Ben Kanute (Phoenix, Ariz.), Zaferes and McElroy earned the silver medal, while Australia grabbed the title and the Netherlands took bronze. A year before that, the U.S. team of Kasper, Kanute, Gwen Jorgensen and Joe Maloy claimed the gold medal as first-time ITU Mixed Relay world champions.
The 10th annual event, which was first hosted in Hamburg in 2013 and has been held there ever since, typically draws millions of TV viewers and hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the city streets. The fast-paced, spectator-friendly race format will feature as a medal event for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In the Mixed Relay race format, four athletes from the same country — two men and two women — compete on a team. Each athlete completes a super-sprint-distance course covering a 300m swim, 7k bike and 1.7k run before tagging off to the next teammate, with the fastest combined time winning the race.
The ITU launched the Mixed Relay World Series this season to create more opportunities to showcase the race format outside of the world championships. The U.S. team of Kasper, Hemming, Zaferes and McElroy teamed up to win the first stop of the inaugural series in June in Nottingham, finishing nearly 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Great Britain. After Hamburg, the series concludes with a stop in Edmonton on July 28.
Team rosters for the relay will not be finalized until Saturday afternoon after the WTS race. The final relay start list will be posted at triathlon.org. In total, 21 teams are set to compete for the world championship crown.
For more information about ITU World Triathlon Hamburg and the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships, visit hamburg.triathlon.org/en.
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 events and connects with more than 400,000 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).