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Surprises Highlight Final Round of Collins Cup Picks

With the team captains’ picks announced this morning, a few interesting and unexpected short-course faces will enter the long-course fray.

It’s just over two weeks until the long-awaited Collins Cup will take place in Samorin, Slovakia, and the field just got a whole lot more interesting. Today, the Pro Triathletes Organization announced the “captain’s picks” that will serve as the final additions to a roster including world champions (now) across all distances. Most surprisingly, less than two weeks from Olympic medal performances, Americans Katie Zaferes and Taylor Knibb have been named to the U.S. team—alongside more familiar long-course late additions like Chris Leiferman and Justin Metzler.

RELATED: What is the Collins Cup?

The now-finalized 12-person U.S. team will face off against Team Europe and Team Internationals in a novel format pitting three athletes (one from each team) against each other, head-to-head, over a unique 100K distance. After 12 total races, points will be tabulated, and a team winner will be named with $1.5M on the line.

Up until now, the teams have been named via a slightly controversial, but objective process over the last few years (full team listing below with captain’s picks in bold) via the PTO’s own rankings system, but today’s announcement injects some surprising short-course names into the mix.

Conversely, the Euro team added slightly more predictable picks with Kat Matthews, Emma Pallant-Browne, Sebastian Kienle, and Daniel Bækkegård. And “Team International” selected Ellie Salthouse, Sarah Crowley, Jackson Laundry, and Kyle Smith to their squad.

TEAM USA
Skye Moench Sam Long
Heather Jackson Rudy von Berg
Jackie Hering Matt Hanson
Chelsea Sodaro Ben Kanute
Taylor Knibb Justin Metzler
Katie Zaferes Chris Leiferman
TEAM EUROPE
Daniela Ryf Jan Frodeno
Anne Haug Gustav Iden
Lucy Charles-Barclay Joe Skipper
Holly Lawrence Patrick Lange
Kat Matthews Sebastian Kienle
Emma Pallant-Browne Daniel Bækkegård
TEAM INTERNATIONALS
Teresa Adam Lionel Sanders
Paula Findlay Braden Currie
Carrie Lester Sam Appleton
Jeannie Metzler Max Neumann
Ellie Salthouse Jackson Laundry
Sarah Crowley Kyle Smith