The men get ready for the Tokyo Test Event

With Olympic qualification up for grabs for many countries, today's 2019 ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event promises to be an exciting race.

| August 15, 2019 | NEWS

Jacob Birtwhistle will wear number one at today\'s Tokyo Test Event, in part thanks to his win at WTS Hamburg earlier this summer.

Jacob Birtwhistle will wear number one at today's Tokyo Test Event, in part thanks to his win at WTS Hamburg earlier this summer.

Photo >Helena Wetjen / Spomedis

It’s hard to imagine that the men will be able to generate anywhere near the same amount of drama at today’s Tokyo ITU Triathlon Olympic Test Event as the women did yesterday, but the racing will no-doubt be exciting. Many countries are using the event as a qualifier for next year’s Olympics, which means the athletes have a lot on the line at today’s race.

There are some notable absences to the start list, including WTS series leader Vincent Luis, three-time defending WTS champion Mario Mola and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez. That hardly means we’re not in for a competitive race, though.

With Luis not racing, Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle will lead the way onto the pontoon with race number one after taking WTS Leeds and Hamburg earlier this year.

The Norwegian team has been pulling out all the technology stops in preparation for Tokyo, so look for Kristian Blummenfelt, Casper Stornes and Gustav Iden to be ready for a big day.

We got to see Jonathan Brownlee back in the kind of form we’re used to seeing from the two-time Olympic medalist in Edmonton, and he’ll be joined by rising star Alex Yee as a potential podium threat.

South Africa will be ably represented by 2016 bronze medalist and super-swimmer Henri Schoeman and Rio fourth-place finisher Richard Murray.

The list of potential podium members also includes Belgium’s Jelle Geens, who outsprinted Mola in Montreal and took third in Hamburg this year. Canadian Tyler Mislawchuk took Canada’s first male WTS podium in Montreal, proving he’s rounding into impressive form. There’s France’s Pierre le Corre, Leo Bergere and Dorian Coninx to add to the mix, too. New Zealand’s young stars Hayden Wilde, Tayler Reid and Sam Ward will be on a high after their impressive Mixed Team Relay win in Edmonton, too. Germany’s Jonas Schomburg and Justus Nieschlag have shown that they can mix things up at the front of the race this year, too.

For the full men’s start list click here