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U.S. Olympic Team Spots Up for Grabs in Yokohama

Thirteen U.S. elite triathletes head to ITU World Triathlon Yokohama this week, with many aiming to claim the final Olympic team spots.

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Thirteen U.S. elite triathletes head to ITU World Triathlon Yokohama this week, with many aiming to claim the final spots remaining on the 2016 U.S. Olympic  Triathlon Team.

Learn more about the Olympic implications in the preview from USA Triathlon below:

The Yokohama stop for the ITU World Triathlon Series features an Olympic-distance 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The elite women will race at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, May 13 (10 a.m. local time on Saturday, May 14), and the elite men will follow at midnight ET on Saturday, May 14 (1 p.m. local time). The races will be broadcast live online at Triathlonlive.tv. In the United States, the races will also air on NBC Sports Group, with the elite women scheduled to air on NBC Sports Network from 5-7 p.m. ET on May 14, and the elite men on Universal HD from 5-7 p.m. on May 15.

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U.S. Women

Seven U.S. women are on the start list for WTS Yokohama, including Gwen Jorgensen, who is already qualified for Rio 2016 and is the defending two-time ITU world champion. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) and Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) have logged top-five finishes at WTS events this season and will wear No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) leads the U.S. women in the USA Triathlon Objective Rankings System, which may play a role in determining U.S. Olympic qualifiers, and finished on the podium in six WTS races last season.

Also on the start list for the U.S. women is Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), who won her first ITU World Cup last month, as well as Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.) and Lindsey Jerdonek (Cleveland, Ohio).
See the compete start list here.

U.S. Men

Six U.S. men are vying for what will likely be three spots on the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team for Rio. Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash.) finished 10th at WTS Gold Coast last month and Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) finished sixth in Gold Coast. The pair lead the U.S. men in the USA Triathlon Objective Rankings System. Also racing will be Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.), Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.), Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.) and Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.).
See the compete start list here.

Olympic Implications

In order to automatically qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, an athlete must finish on the podium in Yokohama. The athlete must be the top U.S. finisher on the podium who has not already qualified, and only one spot is available to a podium finisher. If two Americans finish on the podium, only the top finisher automatically qualifies. The remaining spots on the U.S. team will be filled using USA Triathlon’s Objective Rankings System.