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photo: Janos Schmidt/ITU
Eight Americans Ready to Race in ITU World Triathlon Series Opener
Gwen Jorgensen highlights the U.S. team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Eight U.S. elite triathletes will toe the line at the 2014 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series opener on Sunday in Auckland, New Zealand, with valuable world rankings points on the line.
The elite women’s race is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday (noon local time in Auckland on Sunday), followed by the elite men at 11:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local time Sunday). A live webcast of the Olympic-distance event, which features a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run, will be available at triathlonlive.tv. The events will also be broadcast on Universal Sports, with the initial broadcasts set for April 6 at 7-9 a.m. ET for the women and 7-9 p.m. ET for the men. More information on how to watch Universal Sports and any subsequent broadcasts is available at universalsports.com.
Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) leads the way for the Americans following a fourth-place finish in the final ITU World Triathlon Series rankings in 2013. Jorgensen became the first American woman to win a series event since the series began in 2009 when she claimed victory in San Diego. She also won ITU World Triathlon Series events in Yokohama and Stockholm. Jorgensen opened her 2014 season with a win at the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup on March 15.
Also competing for the women are Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), who finished ninth in the world rankings in 2013 and logged a seventh-place finish in her 2014 season opener at the New Plymouth ITU World Cup on March 24; Katie Hursey (Phoenix, Ariz.), USA Triathlon’s 2013 Rookie of the Year, who won her third career ITU World Cup title in New Plymouth; and Michelle Mehnert (Boulder, Colo.), who also made her elite debut in 2013 and has a pair of top-10 finishes at ITU Pan American Cups. Visit triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.
In the men’s race, Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) is the top American male following four top-10 finishes at ITU World Cup and Pan American Cup events in 2013. 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker is also on the start list, along with Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.) and William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas). Shoemaker, Zaferes and Huffman all raced at the New Plymouth ITU World Cup last month. Visit triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.
In addition to the eight Americans, a star-studded field is scheduled to compete in Auckland, with 18 of the combined men’s and women’s top 10 from the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series rankings on the start list. A complete event preview is available on triathlon.org — men | women.
Beginning May 15, ITU World Triathlon Series points will count toward Olympic team selections. More information on the ITU 2016 Olympic Games qualification system is available here.
Following ITU World Triathlon Auckland, the series will continue on to its inaugural stop in Cape Town, South Africa, on April 26-27.
Don't forget to pick your podium finishers with the new fantasy triathlon TRIFECTA game. USA Triathlon, in conjunction with the International Triathlon Union, launched TRIFECTA to allow multisport fans to predict the elite men’s and women’s podium finishers at each ITU World Triathlon Series event. Triathletes, fans and multisport enthusiasts can create an account now at trifecta.usatriathlon.org and select their podium picks for this weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Series opener in Auckland, New Zealand.