Jonathon Brownlee is among the British competitors at the third round of the televised ITU World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday. He is part of a British team of nine athletes, including Olympic bronze medal winner, Vicky Holland, and last week’s ITU World Cup winner, Non Stanford.
Yokohama marks the first race of the season for Brownlee after an injury put him out of the earlier races in Abu Dhabi and the Gold Coast. Having arrived in Japan on Tuesday, he is ready to renew popular rivalry with current and former ITU World Champions, Mario Mola and Javier Gomez of Spain.
He said: “It’s good to be back in Japan, and it’s good to be back racing. I’ve been feeling strong in training, so I hope everything comes together for a good result on Saturday.”
Tom Bishop ran with Gomez to within 2km of the finishing line in Abu Dhabi to score a break-through silver medal. His training in Leeds has benefitted from added confidence since then. He’s joined by Gordon Benson and five-time Yokohama top ten finisher, Adam Bowden.
New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt has been the in-form athlete so far in the women’s races with two Series wins from two starts, and ITU Word Champion, Flora Duffy starts her 2017 campaign.
The British women begin their seasons with Non Stanford having won the Chengdu ITU World Cup as a warm up en route to Japan last weekend. Olympic bronze medal winner Vicky Holland missed Chengdu with a sore calf, but hopes to start on Saturday.
Stanford said: “I’m feeling fairly relaxed and happy following the win in Chengdu last weekend. I’m looking forward to doing my first full distance race of the season and seeing where I am.”
British trio Jess Learmonth, Lucy Hall and Sophie Coldwell have all scored World or European Cup wins this season. Expect them to attack the swim and bike courses in their usual style.
Although not far from the site of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this is not the course that will be contested during the Games. It’s flat, but the forecast rain and technical bike leg with lots of tight corners should suit all of the British athletes.
The next stop on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit is Leeds on Sunday 11 June. Olympic Champion, Alistair Brownlee, is intending to race having already made his mark on middle-distance racing with two wins and qualification for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in September. Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee famously finished first and second in Leeds, their home town, last year in front of 80,000 spectators.
Britain’s paratriathletes, including Rio gold medal winner, Andy Lewis, start their international seasons in Yokohama as well this weekend.
How to watch:
There will be live BBC Red Button coverage of the men and women’s elite races on Saturday (Friday night if you’re up late!) and highlights on Sunday:
Women’s race: Live 2am, repeated 10:12am
Men’s race: Live 5am, repeated 12:15pm
Highlights: 1pm BBC2 (including interviews with Andy Lewis and Jonathan Brownlee)
ITU World Triathlon Yokohama; Saturday 13 May; 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:
British line up: Sophie Coldwell, Lucy Hall, Vicky Holland, Jessica Learmonth, Non Stanford, Gordon Benson, Tom Bishop, Adam Bowden, Jonathan Brownlee