YOKOHAMA, Japan — U.S. elite triathlete Taylor Knibb opened her 2023 season with a bronze medal on Saturday at the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama, leading the U.S. elite women who placed four in the top 10.
Knibb, returning from a foot injury, made her 2023 season debut on a rainy Saturday that challenged athletes with an Olympic-distance course featuring a 1500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10k run through Yokohama. Knibb completed the course in a time of 1 hour, 54 minutes, 2 seconds to earn the bronze behind Great Britain's Sophie Coldwell (1:53:32) and Mexico's Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal (1:53:49).
"If you told me a few months ago that I would be here at this race, let alone on the podium, this is a really big surprise. I am just really grateful to be here," Knibb said.
Among the leaders out of the water, Knibb led the front bike pack throughout the 40k ride, joined by U.S. Elite National Team members Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.). The group charged through the rain, navigating the slick city roads and tight corners with excellent precision.
Knibb ran a 34:17 10k as she finished in third place. Spivey nearly caught Knibb and finished in fourth, while Kasper placed eighth.
Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) ran her way into the top 10 with a 34:11 10k. Her 10th place finish gave the U.S. women four finishers in the top 10, tops among all countries. Fellow U.S. Elite National Team member Erika Ackerlund wasn't far behind, placing 13th in her 2023 Series debut.
Spivey, now with a bronze in Abu Dhabi and a fourth place finish in Yokohama, sits in second place in the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Rankings. Rappaport remains in fourth, while Knibb vaults up to eighth.
In the men's race, it was U.S. elite Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) who paced the U.S. The U.S. Elite National Team member finished 16th for his first result in the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series, which resumes May 27-29 in Cagliari.
2023 World Triathlon Championship Series
The World Triathlon Championship Series, which began in 2009, is an annual series of triathlon events held in cities around the world where athletes compete head-to-head for points. The rankings are used to determine the best-performing triathletes of the season and, ultimately, the world champions.
The season also includes the 2023 World Triathlon Test Event Paris, the first Paris 2024 auto-qualification opportunity for U.S. elite triathletes. The races will take place in the same venue that will host the triathlon and paratriathlon competitions during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Cagliari – May 27-28
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Montreal – June 24-25
• 2023 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships Hamburg – July 13-16
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland – July 29-30
• *2023 World Triathlon Test Event Paris – Aug. 17-18
• 2023 World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Paris – Aug. 20
• *2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals Pontevedra – Sept. 22-24, 2023
* Denotes Paris 2024 Olympics auto-qualifying event
2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama
1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
1. Sophie Coldwell (GBR), 1:53:32
2. Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal (MEX), 1:53:49
3. Taylor Knibb (Boulder, Colo.), 1:54:02
4. Taylor Spivey (Redando Beach, Calif.), 1:54:14
8. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 1:55:03
10. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 1:55:30
13. Erika Acklerund (Helena, Mont.), 1:55:41
1. Hayden Wilde (NZL), 1:42:13
2. Matthew Hauser (AUS), 1:42:17
3. Vasco Vilaca (POR), 1:42:18
16. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 1:43:28
44. Morgan Pearson (North Vernon, N.J.), 1:48:15