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As the Olympics draw near, every race is important for securing Olympic qualification points, and this weekend the race to Rio is more heated than ever with qualification on the line for many major names at World Triathlon Gold Coast. For the third time in the city’s history, the World Triathlon Series returns to Gold Coast as the second stop on the 2016 WTS calendar for a standard-distance course.
The golden number one will be worn by Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson, who has begun her 2016 in perfect fashion. With just one more Olympic spot open for the taking for Great Britain, Stimpson’s results so far this season put her in a good position of securing the final place. She claimed the WTS opening race in Abu Dhabi in March and then one week later grabbed the World Cup opener in Mooloolaba. While she did not compete in the Gold Coast last year, it was here that Stimpson became the U23 World Championship runner-up in 2009.
The other British star looking to snatch the final Olympic ticket for Great Britain is Helen Jenkins. The two-time Olympian earned bronze in Abu Dhabi, which proves it is going to be a tough and tight battle in determining who will make it to Rio this summer. The first one to cross the finish line in Gold Coast stands the best chance to punch a ticket to Rio, but the performances need to be top notch to be selected.
After opening up her 2016 season with a World Cup victory in New Plymouth just this last weekend, the much anticipated return of reigning World Champion Gwen Jorgensen (USA) to the World Triathlon Series will come to fruition in Gold Coast. Jorgensen hasn’t lost a race since 2014, and with Gold Coast amongst her wins last year, she joins the start list as not only the reigning World Champion, but the returning Gold Coast champ. Proving stronger and stronger in each discipline with every race, expect the undefeated triathlete to be with the leading ladies.
Read the complete preview at Triathlon.org
The women will get the 2016 Gold Coast ITU World Triathlon Series underway at 9:36 a.m. on Saturday April 9 (7:36 p.m. ET Friday), while the men will follow at 12:36 p.m. local time (10:36 p.m. ET Friday). Follow all of the action live at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter @triathlonlive.