World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo

Katie Zaferes earns silver medal at Brasilia World Cup

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Big weekend for U.S. elites as success shines across the globe

by USA Triathlon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It was a huge weekend of racing across the globe for U.S. elite triathletes as a number of success stories were showcased at international competitions spanning three continents. With the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Chengdu taking place in China, the women’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Brasilia in Brazil, the U.S. represented with strong performances across the board.  

2023 World Triathlon Cup Chengdu 

Chengdu, China hosted the 10th World Cup event of the season, which featured only the fourth Olympic-distance race this year. Three U.S. elites were on the starting line for both the men and women. 

Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.) finished seventh in the women’s event, crossing the line with a time of 1 hour, 58 minutes and 50 seconds. Chengdu was only Ackerlund’s second World Cup showing this season, having also raced in New Plymouth back in March. She managed to match what she produced in New Zealand earlier in the season by taking seventh, which has been her best result she has earned this year.  

In the men’s race, both Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ka’eo Kruse (Kauaʻi, Hawaii) finished in the top-15. Smith, with a time of 1:44:24 earned a career-best World Cup finish by placing sixth. Kruse also had a career-best performance on the World Cup circuit, finishing 14th with a time of 1:45:20. 

Chengdu World Cup Results – Complete Results 
1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run 

U.S. Women Finishers 
7. Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.), 1:58:50 

U.S. Men Finishers 
6. Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), 1:44:24 
14. Ka’eo Kruse (Kauaʻi, Hawaii), 1:45:20 

2023 World Triathlon Cup Brasilia 

Brasilia was the first time Brazil hosted a World Triathlon Cup in 19 years and Katie Zaferes (Cary, N.C.) found herself on the historic podium by claiming silver in the women’s race. In her second World Cup showing of the season, Zaferes competed as the sole U.S. woman in the field. She had a strong push out of the gate, which put her into the leading bike pack and eventually as the frontrunner on the run. She was only passed in the final lap by Italy’s Alice Betto, who ultimately claimed the gold with a time of 2:00:05. Zaferes crossed just 10 seconds later to take second place.  

“It was very challenging, I was not in the best headspace up until probably the last lap of the bike and then I was able to change my perspective a bit. I was doubting the bike I struggled on and I just kept telling myself, this is the bike and the run is something different, so give yourself a chance and getting out onto the run I felt controlled and thought, just stay with this feeling and sensation and stay present. I am really surprised that ended so well,” Zaferes said. 

In the men’s race, Jason West (Quakertown, Pa.) stepped up to only his second World Triathlon race since 2020. Despite the time away from short course racing, while racing on the PTO Tour, he outperformed the majority of the field, taking fifth by recording the field’s second-fastest run and finishing with a time of 1:49:08. 


Brasilia World Cup – Complete Results 
1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run 

U.S. Women Finishers 
2. Katie Zaferes (Cary, N.C.), 2:00:15 

U.S. Men Finishers 
5. Jason West (Quakertown, Pa.), 1:49:08 


2023 Women’s IRONMAN World Championship  

After the men took to the World Championship stage back in September in Nice, France, the iconic Kona, Hawaii venue welcomed the women’s field to name the IRONMAN World Champion. The U.S. dominated the day as five women finished in the top 10 – the only country to do so. 

Despite having won back-to-back 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships the past two years, it was the first time USA’s Taylor Knibb (Boulder, Colo.) stepped into the ring for the ultra-distance.  

Her debut was nothing short of spectacular as she crossed the line with a time of 8:35:56 to earn fourth-place, just missing the podium by three minutes.  

Last year’s champion, Chelsea Sodaro (Davis, Calif.), finished sixth with a time of 8:42:25. 

IRONMAN World Championship – Complete Results 
3.9km swim, 180.2km bike, 42.2km run 

U.S. Women’s Top Finishers 
4. Taylor Knibb (Boulder, Colo.), 8:35:56 
6. Chelsea Sodaro (Davis, Calif.), 8:42:25 
7. Skye Moench (Salt Lake City, Utah), 8:43:34 
8. Sarah True (Cooperstown, N.Y.), 8:47:06 
10. Jocelyn McCauley (The Woodlands, Texas), 8:50:39