Top U.S. Amateur Triathletes Chase Sprint, Standard World Titles This Weekend

By USA Triathlon | Aug. 26, 2019, 3:15 p.m. (ET)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — More than 700 top American amateur triathletes will race for world titles this weekend, with the ITU Age Group Sprint and Standard Triathlon World Championships set for Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, respectively, as part of the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. 

The age-group races begin at 7:15 a.m. local time (1:15 a.m. ET) each day over the weekend, with the race start and transition situated at Bellerive along Lake Geneva. The ITU Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships will cover a 750-meter swim in the lake, followed by a 20-kilometer draft-legal bike along the lakeshore and a 5-kilometer run. Sunday’s ITU Age Group Standard Triathlon World Championships feature an Olympic-distance 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run. 

Qualification was required for both events, with sprint-distance competitors earning their spot on Team USA by finishing in the top eight at the 2018 USA Triathlon Age Group Sprint National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio; a top-10 finish at the 2018 USA Triathlon Draft-Legal National Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida; or by placing near the top of the USA Triathlon year-end rankings for their respective age groups. Standard-distance athletes qualified with a top-18 age-group finish at the 2018 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Age Group National Championships in Cleveland; or by placing near the top of the USA Triathlon year-end rankings for their respective age groups.

USA Triathlon’s Team USA is comprised of athletes ranging in age from 15 to 89 years old and residing in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Seventy-two athletes represent the state of California — the most of any state in the nation — followed by Florida with 49 and Ohio with 43. More than 60 athletes are registered to compete in both the sprint- and standard-distance races over the course of two days.

Todd Buckingham (M30-34, Big Rapids, Mich.), Kirsten Sass (F40-44, McKenzie, Tenn.) and Wayne Fong (M85-89, Chatsworth, Calif.) return to Sprint Worlds as gold medalists from the 2018 event, held in Gold Coast, Australia. Joining them are returning silver medalists Philip Friedman (M65-69, Erie, Pa.), Sibyl Jacobson (F75-79, New York, N.Y.), Sheila Isaacs (F80-84, Shoreham, N.Y.) and Jack Welber (M80-84, Boulder, Colo.); and returning bronze medalist Rick Kozlowski (M65-69, San Diego, Calif.).

Buckingham is also a returning gold medalist in the Standard World Championships event, where he was the fastest overall amateur man in 2018. Additional defending age-group champions include Jacobson, Matthew Murray (M20-24, Pearland, Texas), Steph Popelar (F50-54, Elizabeth, Colo.), Kelly Dippold (F55-59, Irvine, Calif.) and Missy LeStrange (F65-69, Visalia, Calif.). Gabrielle Bunten (F25-29, North Oaks, Minn.) is the sole returning silver medalist for the U.S. in the event. Returning bronze medalists are Jessica Holmes (F40-44, Natick, Mass.), Adrienne LeBlanc (F45-49, Scottsdale, Ariz.), Sharon Johnson (F60-64, Andover, Mass.) and Peggy McDowell-Cramer (F75-79, Santa Monica, Calif.).

At the 2018 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Team USA raced to 34 world championship medals between the sprint and standard events, including 13 golds, eight silvers and 12 bronzes.

For more information about Team USA, comprised of the amateur athletes who represent the United States in ITU Age Group World Championship events, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.

The ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, held from Aug. 29-Sept. 1, marks the culmination of the ITU World Triathlon Series by crowning the men’s and women’s elite world champions. The week of racing also features ITU Paratriathlon, Junior and U23 World Championships, in addition to the age-group races. Visit usatriathlon.org for coverage of U.S. performances in all events, and follow @TriathlonLive on Twitter for live updates during each race.

For complete event schedules, course maps and more for the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, visit lausanne.triathlon.org. Complete start lists for all events can be found at 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 at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — 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 & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).