Olympic qualification will be the name of the game for many of the women's competitors lining up for the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in Tokyo.
August 14, 2019 | NEWS|
In a few hours we’ll see the elite women competing at the 2020 Olympic test event. The race promises to be very exciting as, for many of the athletes, it will serve as their chance to qualify for next year’s games.
The standard-distance race consists of a 1.5 km, two-loop swim course starting on a pontoon by Odaiba Beach, heading Tokyo Bay towards Bird Island. The eight-lap, technical bike course is followed by a four-lap run course that circles Odaiba Park before heading to the finish along the shore of Tokyo Bay.
All eyes will be on American Katie Zaferes, who has been on a tear at WTS races this year, winning the first four races of the series and finishing second in the other. She skipped the last WTS race in Edmonton in order to really gear up for Tokyo and the Grand Final in Lausanne, so one would imagine she’ll be the woman to beat.
Last year’s WTS world champ and Rio bronze medalist, Vicky Holland, can nail her spot for Tokyo with a podium finish later today.
Those two will be joined by another perennial star – Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who returns to racing after a long layoff due to injury. Duffy dominated the race scene two years ago and early last year, so her return adds some excitement to the mix, for sure.
The US and British are stacked when it comes to women’s racing. Zaferes is joined by Taylor Spivey, Summer Rappaport, Kirsten Kasper and Taylor Knibb. Basically it’s the top two who finish in the first eight that will guarantee their Tokyo qualification.
Holland’s countrywomen are likely to be in the mix, too, including Non Stanford, Georgia Taylor Brown, Jessica Learmonth and Sophie Coldwell.
Australia is another triathlon powerhouse and features a number of potential favorites, too, including Emma Jackson, fresh off a win at WTS Edmonton, last year’s Grand Final champ Ashleigh Gentle, Emma Jeffcoat, Natalie Van Coevorden and Jaz Hedgeland.
The spectators will no-doubt be making lots of noise in support of Juri Ide, Yuko Takahashi and Yuka Sato.
Other names to keep an eye on include Netherlands’ Rachel Klamer, Germany’s Laura Lindemann, France’s Cassandra Beaugrand, Belgium’s Claire Michel and Canada’s Joanna Brown.
For the full women’s start list click here