U.S. Elite Triathletes and Elite Paratriathletes Kick off World Triathlon Season in Yokohama
by USA Triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After a months-long offseason, World Triathlon Championship Series racing officially returns this weekend in Yokohama, Japan, as 16 U.S. elite triathletes and elite paratriathletes will race in the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama and 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama.
Elite paratriathletes will race first at 5:50 p.m. ET/2:50 p.m. PT on Friday, May 13 (6:50 a.m. local time Saturday, March 14). The women’s race will follow at 9:16 p.m. ET/ 6:16 p.m. PT (10:16 a.m. local time Saturday, March 14) and the men’s race begins at 12:06 a.m./9:06 p.m. PT (1:06 p.m. local time Saturday, March 14).
Fans can watch all three races at Yokohama and throughout the World Triathlon Championship Series on TriathlonLIVE.tv. USA Triathlon annual members can use code NF2022 for a 20% discount on an annual subscription.
Yokohama is one of the longest standing venues of the WTCS, with this year marking the 12th edition of being including in the circuit. While Yokohama opens as the first race of 2022, the event is the third race on the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series, as the Series officially kicked off last fall with two races in Hamburg and Abu Dhabi.
Points earned in those two events count toward the 2022 Series, which includes seven races from May to November, culminating with the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Finals Abu Dhabi.
2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama
Eight U.S. elite triathletes will race in Yokohama on a two-lap 1500-meter swim, a flat, but technical nine-lap 40-kilometer bike and a fast four-lap 10-kilometer run.
The 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series runner-up, Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) returns to Yokohama looking for a repeat of last year’s win — her first in the WTCS — that punched her ticket to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Joining Knibb on the women’s start list are WTCS veterans Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.). Spivey makes her 2022 race debut in Yokohama, coming off a banner season in which she finished third overall in the WTCS, her career-best finish and the third time the U.S. finished the WTCS with two women on the overall podium. Kasper began her 2022 season in March, winning the Americas Cup in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.
Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.) rounds out the U.S. women’s field. Ackerlund made her WTCS debut in 2021, placing 10th in Hamburg and 15th in Abu Dhabi.
Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) and Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) represent the U.S. men.
A member of the U.S. Mixed Relay team that won the Olympic silver medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, McDowell also placed sixth in the individual men’s race — the best ever Olympic finish by a U.S. male triathlete. Rider capped the 2021 season with a fourth place finish at the World Triathlon Championship Finals Edmonton and finished the 2021 WTCS in ninth place, the highest-ever by a U.S. man.
McElroy is one of three U.S. men to earn a podium finish in a WTCS race (silver at Leeds in 2019; Morgan Pearson and Jarrod Shoemaker are the other two U.S. men). He comes to Yokohama in strong form, having finished second at the recent St. Anthony’s Triathlon. McQueen, a member of USA Triathlon’s elite development squad, Project Podium, placed fourth in the debut Arena Games Triathlon World Championship Series this spring. He made his WTCS debut in 2021.
For the full Yokohama start lists, click here.
2022 World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama
Eight U.S. elite paratriathletes will race the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5k run in Yokohama, the first of four events of the 2022 World Triathlon Para Series.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medalist Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio) leads the U.S. women, racing in the PTS5 race. She started her season with a win in Sarasota-Bradenton at the Americas Para Cup.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympian Melissa Stockwell (Colorado Springs, Colo.) represents the PTS2 women, and fellow Tokyo 2020 Paralympian Kyle Coon (Colorado Springs, Colo.), with guide Zack Goodman, will compete in the men’s PTVI race. Owen Cravens (Algonquin, Ill.), with guide Colin Riley are also set to line up for the U.S. in the men’s PTVI race.
Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo.) will race in the PTWC event. He is coming off a win at the Americas Para Cup in Sarasota-Bradenton in March. Mohamed Lahna (Elk Grove, Calif.) will race in the men’s PTS2 category. This will be Lahna’s first full season competing for Team USA. Lahna officially competed for the first time wearing the U.S. uniform last November in Abu Dhabi, after he previously competed for his birth nation of Morocco.
Robert Rodriguez (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Kelly Worrell (Cherry Hill, N.J.) will make their WTPS debuts in Yokohama, racing in the PTS4 class.
For the full Yokohama start lists, click here.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 races and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).