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Big names will line up in both the men’s and women’s ITU World Triathlon Series Gold Coast races, set for this Saturday, April 11 in Queensland, Australia. This event will be the standard Olympic distance, made up of a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike and a 10K run.
The elite women kick off the action on Saturday at 11:06 a.m. GMT (6:06 p.m. PDT/ 9:06 p.m. EDT Friday), with all eyes on reigning world champion Gwen Jorgensen (USA). The American is on a historic run, winning seven WTS races in a row (and 10 total for her career). It’s been almost a year since she didn’t win a WTS race she entered—she finished third in Cape Town on April 26, 2014.
Once again it looks like Jorgensen’s biggest competition will come from her USA teammates. Katie Zaferes (USA) has been on a hot streak, finishing second to Jorgensen in both the Abu Dhabi and Auckland WTS races this year. The pair will face off against Sarah True (USA)—who finished in the runner-up spot in the overall series last year. Other Americans to watch for include Lindsey Jerdonek (USA), Kaitlin Donner (USA), Renee Tomlin (USA), Jessica Broderick (USA) and Kirsten Kasper (USA). The American women’s team is as deep as ever and all of these athletes will be looking to prove they deserve to be on the start line for the Olympic qualification races in August (the Rio test event) and September (the Chicago Grand Final).
Internationally, top talent lining up for the Gold Coast race include 2014 XTERRA world champion Flora Duffy (BER), who picked up her first WTS podium in Abu Dhabi, Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Emma Moffatt (AUS), Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) and Paula Findlay (CAN).
The Australian crowd will also no doubt be excited to see London Olympic bronze medalist Erin Densham (AUS) back to racing after injury and illness have kept her mostly out of competition for the past two years.
The elite men will follow the women on Saturday at 4:06 p.m. GMT (9:06 p.m. PDT Friday/12:06 a.m. EDT Saturday). The focus of the men’s race will be on London Olympic medalists Javier Gomez (ESP) and Jonathan Brownlee (GBR). The two have been strong so far in 2015, but not nearly as dominant as they have been in the past. Look for tough competition to come from Fernando Alzarza (ESP), Mario Mola (ESP), Mario Mola (ESP), Ryan Bailie (AUS), Joao Silva (POR) and Richard Murray (RSA).
The story of the American men has been the opposite of the women, with USA struggling to put anyone near the podium. Ben Kanute has put up the top performance of the men so far in 2015, finishing ninth at WTS Auckland, and he’ll make the start on Saturday. Other American men on the start list include Jarrod Shoemaker, Kevin McDowell, Tommy Zaferes, Alan Webb and Sean Jefferson.
About The Course
Swim (1.5km): Athletes will start at the Broadwater Parklands and will swim two anti-clockwise laps.
Bike (40km): The bike is an eight-lap bike flat and technical bike course heading Carey Park and then turning for a trip through Southport before an out and back loop along Gold Coast Hwy.
Run (10km): The run consists of a four-lap, 10km course that circles around the Aquatic Centre, Anzac Park and Broadwater Parklands.