Matt McElroy Leads U.S. Elite Men at 2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals Pontevedra
by USA Triathlon
PONTEVEDRA, Spain — U.S. elite triathlete Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the U.S. men on Saturday, Sept. 23 with a 16th place showing at the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals Pontevedra.
Saturday's World Triathlon Championship Finals capped the World Triathlon Championship Series season that began this March in Abu Dhabi. Athletes raced for the 2023 world championship, which is determined by an athlete's best four results in the WTCS season and the results of the race in Pontevedra.
The race in Pontevedra also offered the second Paris 2024 Olympic Games auto-qualification opportunity for the U.S. elite men, with the one auto-qualifying spot going to the first U.S. athlete to finish among the top three. While there were no U.S. qualifiers on Saturday, there will be a third and final auto-qualification opportunity in spring 2024 at a to-be-determined World Triathlon Championship Series event. If quota spots remain after the three auto-selection events, all remaining open spots will be filled by Discretionary Selection.
U.S. elite triathlete Morgan Pearson (New Vernon, New Jersey) was the first U.S. man to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, punching his ticket at last month's Olympic Games Test Event Paris. Read here for more information about U.S. qualification procedures for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Pearson, who won silver at last year's World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi, looked primed for another podium performance at Worlds midway through the 10k run on Saturday. After coming into transition with the lead bike pack of 24 athletes, Pearson quickly made his way to the front of the group on the run, sitting comfortably in third place after the first of four run laps. He took a commanding lead in the second lap and carried that lead into the third lap, but unfortunately was caught by the group as he dealt with back spasms.
Meanwhile, McElroy ran his way to 16th, clocking a 30:27 10k to finish the 1500-meter swim, 39.8-kilometer bike, 10k run in 1 hour, 43 minutes, 48 seconds.
France's Dorian Coninx out-sprinted Germany's Tim Hellwig and his countryman Pierre Le Corre to take the win, and the 2023 World Triathlon Championships Series world title.
U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday's racing also included the World Triathlon U23 World Championships and the World Triathlon Para Championships Pontevedra, in which seven U.S. elite paratriathletes wonmedals, including three world championships.
John Reed led the U23 men on Saturday in the U23 World Championships, placing eighth to give him back-to-back top-10 finishes at U23 Worlds. Complete results of the U23 World Championships can be found here.
The racing action in Pontevedra continues on Sunday with the elite women and the U23 women. The women's U23 race is at 8 a.m. ET (2 p.m. local time in Pontevedra) and the elite women's race is at 10:45 a.m. ET (4:45 p.m. local time in Pontevedra). Taylor Knibb was the first U.S. elite woman to qualify for Paris 2024, clinching her spot at the Olympic Games Test Event in Paris last month.
HOW TO WATCH
All the races will be available live and on demand on TriathlonLIVE.tv.
2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals Pontevedra
1500m swim, 39.8k bike, 10k run
Elite Men's Podium
1. Dorian Coninx (FRA), 1:42:22
2. Tim Hellwig (GER), 1:42:22
3. Pierre Le Corre (FRA), 1:42:22
16. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:43:48
55. Morgan Pearson (New Vernon, N.J.), 1:48:04