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U.S. Elite Triathlete Taylor Knibb Finishes Third in World Triathlon Championship Series

By USA Triathlon | Nov. 25, 2022, 2:15 p.m. (ET)

Taylor knibb runs to finish line

ABU DHABI, UAE — U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team member Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) placed fourth on Friday afternoon at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi, vaulting her to third place in the final 2022 World Triathlon Championship Rankings. 

Knibb, just 24 years old, has now finished on the podium of the World Triathlon Championship Rankings in each of the past two seasons. 

Her U.S. teammate Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) placed seventh on Friday in Abu Dhabi and jumped up to fourth in the final 2022 World Triathlon Championship Rankings. Continuing to show its force on the elite women's circuit, the U.S. is one of only two countries (Great Britain the other) to place at least two women in the top 10 of the 2022 Championship Rankings.

Knibb's road to the podium on the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Rankings started last fall, also in Abu Dhabi, at the second stop of the 2022 Series, which included two races in 2021 that counted toward the 2022 Series. She finished fifth last November in Abu Dhabi, then sixth this May in Yokohama. 

The World Triathlon Championship Rankings are determined by taking an athlete’s best four results in the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series season, plus the results of the Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi. 

After an absence from racing this summer due to injury, Knibb returned to WTCS racing in October, placing third in Cagliari and second in Bermuda, the penultimate stop of the 2022 WTCS. She sprung to the World Triathlon Championship Rankings podium thanks to her fourth place showing on Friday at the World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi. 

“I’m pretty shocked. There were a lot of ups and downs in the season and today,” said Knibb who completed the 1500-meter swim, 40k bike and 10k run in a time of 1 hour 56 minutes, 40 seconds.  

In the lead group of women out of the water, Knibb was among the group of nine to make up the front bike pack. Knibb, Bermuda's Flora Duffy and Great Britain's Georgia Taylor-Brown took turns leading the front of the pack — the latter dueling for the 2022 Series world title. In position for a potential podium finish, Knibb found misfortunate near the end of lap seven of the bike as she crashed around the final hairpin corner. 

“The corner was entirely my fault, I wasn’t fully processing things at that point, it was a bit of user error and I’m sorry to Maya (Kingma) and Vittoria (Lopes) and Lena (Meissner) behind me for that," Knibb said. 

The costly crash sent her off the front, but she managed to run her way back into fourth, behind Duffy, whose win on Friday gave her the world title, Taylor-Brown and Meissner. 

Spivey, who rode in a mini chase pack for much of the race with U.S. teammate Kirsten Kasper, placed seventh. Kasper placed 17th. 

Erika Ackerlund placed 18th, wrapping up her first year as a member of the U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) placed 28th. 

The racing action in Abu Dhabi continues on Saturday with the men's elite race beginning at 6:06 a.m. EST (3:06 p.m. local time). The race can be streamed live on TriathlonLIVE. 

2022 World Triathlon U23 World Championship 

Also on Friday in Abu Dhabi, eight up-and-coming U.S. triathletes representing the future of elite U.S. triathlon raced in the U23 World Championships. 

John Reed (Virginia Beach, Va.) led the U.S., clocking a top-10 finish to cap his first season racing as an elite. With a strong run, Reed placed ninth with a time of 1:51:16. 

Liberty Ricca (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Lydia Russell (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) led the U.S. women, placing 25th and 26th. Ricca is a member of the Arizona State University women's collegiate triathlon team, which won its sixth straight national title earlier this month. A former collegiate runner at the University of Oregon and University of New Mexico, Russell transitioned to triathlon this spring, competing in her first elite-level triathlon at the 2022 Americas Triathlon Cup Sarasota-Bradenton. 

Ricca's Arizona State teammate Faith Dasso placed 29th. 

2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi 

1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run | Full results

Women 

1. Flora Duffy (BER) 1:53:24

2. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) 1:54:28

3. Lena Meissner (GER) 

U.S. Finishers 

4. Taylor Knibb (Washington D.C.) 1:56:40

7. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 1:57:44

17. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.)1:59:23 

18. Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) 1:59:30

28. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) 2:00:32

2022 World Triathlon Championship Rankings 

1. Flora Duffy 5,105

2. Georgia Taylor-Brown 5,081

3. Taylor Knibb 4,179