The ITU World Triathlon Series visits Hamburg this weekend. It’s arguably the fastest weekend of triathlon on the calendar as the Mixed Relay World Championships take place alongside sprint distance racing.
Great Britain has nine athletes racing, including Tom Bishop, Adam Bowden and recently crowned ETU European Champion, Jessica Learmonth. Unfortunately, Jonathan Brownlee is a late withdrawal from the race through illness.
The elite women’s race starts the action at lunch time on Saturday followed by the men’s race. The Mixed Relay, and event that was recently added to the Tokyo Olympic programme, takes place on Sunday.
Learmonth is the highest ranked British woman. USA’s Kirsten Kasper and Katie Zaferes, who won last year, hold the top two spots and ITU World Champion, Flora Duffy is probably the race favourite.
Sophie Coldwell embarks on her first race since recently graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Human Biology. Lucy Hall, India Lee and Georgia Taylor-Brown add to a strong line up.
Learmonth said: “I’ve not raced in Hamburg before, so I’m looking forward to experiencing the crowds and atmosphere. The race has fast and technical sections, and I think the British girls have the potential to make it really exciting to watch. We’ll certainly do our best!”
In the men’s race, Tom Bishop is ranked number four behind the trio of Spaniards, Fernando Alarza, Mario Mola, and Javier Gomez. He finished fifth at the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds last month and won silver in the opening round of the Series in Abu Dhabi in March.
Adam Bowden, who finished in a career best fourth place in Leeds, is also racing. Marc Austin and Gordon Benson complete the British squad on what could be an important weekend for those with aspirations of qualifying for next year’s Commonwelth Games squad.
English athletes finishing inside the top five (top three Commonwealth finisher) will achieve a key clause of the selection policy. Scotland and Wales are looking for their athletes to demonstrate their ability to finish inside the top six on the Gold Coast, but not specifically in Hamburg. Teams will selected once the 2017 season has been concluded.
The ITU Mixed Relay World Championships have added incentive for teams to demonstrate that they are the best in the world with the event having now been added to the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020. 21 teams of two men and two women will compete on the super sprint course covering a 300m swim, 6.6 km bike and 1.6 km run.
Great Britain has won the title three times (2011, 2012 & 2014), but it’s Team USA who are the defending champions. The British squad will be selected following the individual races on Saturday. Brownlee, who is returning home from Hamburg, will be missed from the team. He featured in all three of Britain’s world championship winning teams.
Both Saturday and Sunday’s races will be televised via the BBC Red Button as part of a busy weekend of international sport.
How to watch:
Saturday, 15 July
12:55-14:25, Women’s Race (Sprint), BBC Red Button & Triathlonlive.tv
14:45-16:10, Men’s Race (Sprint), BBC Red Button & Triathlonlive.tv
Sunday, 16 July
13:45-15:30, Mixed Team Relay, BBC Red Button, online & Triathlonlive.tv
Monday, 17 July
14:00-16:00, Highlights, BBC Two (repeated on Red Button from 19:00-21:00)
ITU World Triathlon Hamburg; Elite Sprint Triathlon and Mixed Team Relay; 15-16 July:
Sophie Coldwell, Lucy Hall, Jessica Learmonth, India Lee, Georgia Taylor-Brown
Marc Austin, Gordon Benson, Tom Bishop, Adam Bowden