COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Ten U.S. elite triathletes are set to compete in the third stop of the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) in Yokohama, Japan, this weekend. Additionally, 11 U.S. elite paratriathletes will take on the first ITU World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) event of the year. Fittingly, the WTS stop in Japan also marks the start of the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The WTS race in Yokohama features an Olympic-distance 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run centered around Yamashita Park. The elite women race at 9:06 p.m. ET on Friday (10:06 a.m. Saturday local time), and the elite men follow at 12:06 a.m. ET on Saturday (1:06 p.m. Saturday local time). Both races will be broadcast live online at triathlonlive.tv and on NBC’s Olympic Channel, with coverage starting at 9 p.m. ET on Friday.
Six U.S. women are on the start list for WTS Yokohama, led by current ITU World Triathlon Series leader Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.). After taking fourth at the first two WTS stops this season in Abu Dhabi and Bermuda, Kasper will be hungry for the podium heading into this weekend’s race. At No. 7 on the start list is Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.), a 2016 U.S. Olympian who took bronze in the overall World Triathlon Series rankings in 2017. Zaferes cracked the podium with a bronze medal two weeks ago at WTS Bermuda.
Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who earned her first career WTS medal last season in Leeds, England, holds the No. 10 spot on the start list. Also set to compete are 2016 ITU World Triathlon Edmonton champion Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) and two-time ITU World Cup medalists Chelsea Burns (Seattle, Wash.) and Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.).
In the men’s race, four Americans will take on a competitive international field headlined by current WTS leader Mario Mola of Spain. Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.) leads the U.S. contingent at No. 19 on the start list. Hemming has had a strong start to the 2018 season, claiming wins at the Clermont and Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cups in March before earning a career-best 11th-place WTS finish in Bermuda in April.
Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) is also on the start list. The four-time ITU World Cup medalist will look to crack the top-10 in a WTS for the first time in his career. Also competing are Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), a five-time ITU World Cup medalist, and Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), who is making his WTS career debut.
For the complete men’s and women’s start lists, visit triathlon.org.
In the WPS race, elite paratriathletes will cover a sprint-distance 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. The first of the paratriathlon races is set to start at 5:55 p.m. ET on Friday (6:55 a.m. Saturday local time). A free finish line livestream will be available for all paratriathlon races at triathlonlive.tv/yokohama.
The U.S. contingent is headlined by Rio 2016 Paralympic champions Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio, PTS5) and Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz., PTS2), as well as Paralympic silver medalist Hailey Danz (Chicago, Ill., PTS2). All three athletes continued their successes in 2017, with Norman earning her second straight ITU Paratriathlon World Championships title and Seely claiming a 2017 world silver medal. Danz’s 2017 season was highlighted by a U.S. national title and two WPS silver medals in Yokohama and Edmonton.
Mark Barr (Houston, Texas) leads the start list for the PTS2 men. After finishing fourth at the 2016 Paralympic Games, Barr had a stellar 2017 that included silver medals at WPS stops in Yokohama and Gold Coast. He capped off his season with a silver-medal performance at the World Championships. Mohamed Lahna (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who claimed two WPS medals in 2017, joins Barr in the PTS2 category at No. 3 on the start list.
Holding the No. 1 spots in their respective categories are Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah, PTS5) and Jamie Brown (Bend, Ore., PTS4). Hammer earned a World Championships bronze medal in 2017 and placed fourth at the 2016 Paralympic Games, while Brown’s breakout 2017 season included a gold at the Yokohama WPS stop and a bronze at the World Championships.
Also representing the U.S. are 2017 ITU World Paratriathlon Edmonton bronze medalist Joel Rosinbum (Austin, Texas, PTS4), Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup champion Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill., PTWC), 2016 Paralympian and two-time 2017 WPS gold medalist Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn., PTVI), and five-time Paralympic gold medalist in swimming Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md.).
For complete paratriathlon start lists, visit triathlon.org.
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).