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This weekend’s Yokohama races mark the fifth event in the ITU World Triathlon Series. The story on the women’s side is the return of Gwen Jorgensen (USA), who sat out the last race in Cape Town to get in some solid training. Will she again show her dominance and regain her number one spot? On the men’s side, it will be a question of who will emerge as the victor as no one athlete as emerged as a leading force.
Jorgensen has simply made no race of any event she has taken part in so far this year, winning all three WTS in which she started before taking some well-deserved time out in Cape Town where Vicky Holland (GBR) raced superbly to gold. Holland won’t back up in Yokohama but the tall long-striding American does return to a venue at which she has a great record, winning the past two times here including the posting of an amazing 32:44 10k run split in 2013 that well and truly announced her on the world stage. Yokohama is where Jorgensen began her current winning streak, as she returns to Japan undefeated since winning there last year.
While Non Stanford (GBR) was forced to sit out the 2014 season, she left the ITU circuit on a high as she beat out none other than Jorgensen for the World Championship title in front of a home crowd in 2013. Stanford is one of the few women that can rival Jorgensen down the finish chute, making their meeting highly anticipated.
Read the complete preview.
Alistair Brownlee (GBR) is looking to make up for lost time after injury kept the London Olympic champion out of the opening three rounds of the WTS—as a result he is just 12th on the Columbia Threadneedle rankings with only one start to his name. Few would bet against a fit-again Brownlee, who will no doubt be further boosted by another three weeks of training since the win in South Africa.
Javier Gomez and Mario Mola are not the only Spaniards in contention. Cue the “Spanish Armada” clichés as the top three ranked athletes hail from the European powerhouse, with Fernando Alarza the next in rankings order on the start list. Four top ten’s in four races this season speaks to the 24-year-old Spaniard’s consistency, but the lack of a single podium suggests he is yet to fully crack the top echelon just yet.
When And How To Watch
The women kick off the action Saturday at 10 a.m. local time (Friday 6 p.m. PDT/9 p.m. EDT), with the men following at 1:06 p.m. local time (Friday 9 p.m. PDT/Saturday 12 a.m. EDT). Follow all the events live with timing and text updates, at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter at @triathlonlive.