U.S. Full of Podium Potential as Hamburg Opens 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series this Weekend
by USA Triathlon
While the celebrations of the action-packed 2021 season are nowhere near over, the World Triathlon Championship Series returns this weekend in Hamburg, Germany, with the first 2022 series points on the line at the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg.
Seven U.S. athletes, including Tokyo 2020 Olympian Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) are on the start list for Saturday’s sprint-distance race. Racing also includes a Mixed Relay event on Sunday. The women’s race on Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m.ET/3:30 p.m. local time, while the men’s race begins at noon ET/6 p.m. local time. Sunday’s Mixed Relay begins at 8:40 a.m. ET/2:40 p.m. local time.
All events will be broadcast live at TriathlonLIVE.tv; monthly and annual subscriptions are available for purchase.
Known as one of the most electric cities on the World Triathlon Championship Series circuit due to the overwhelming welcome of support and excitement from local crowds, this weekend marks the 20th consecutive year of elite triathlon racing in Hamburg.
On Saturday, athletes will race a sprint-distance course, where they will start off with a 750-meter swim in Binnenalster Lake that features the famous spectator-lined 40-meter dark tunnel leading into the transition ramp. The 21-kilometer bike is a flat and technical six-lap course, and the run a two-lap five-kilometer course.
The women are the first to toe the line and the U.S. enters with four athletes full of podium potential. Leading the Americans is Rappaport, who is coming off the World Championship Finals in Edmonton where she finished 16th. Rappaport has experience in Hamburg, earning the bronze medal there in 2019.
Also racing for the U.S. in the women’s race is Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), Ericka Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) and Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfurt, Ill.). While Kasper continues to show her consistency, she is vying for her first World Triathlon Championship Series podium since Yokohama in 2017.
Acklerlund and Spearing raced last weekend in the World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary. Ackerlund led for the U.S. women with a top-ten finish, while Spearing was one of the top swimmers in the elite field.
The men’s race will see a roster of three young U.S. athletes looking to make their mark at the elite level. Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) raced last weekend in Karlovy Vary and put forth a strong performance in the swim and bike. It will be a debut Hamburg start line for McQueen, along with Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), who is also racing his first-ever World Triathlon Championship Series event this weekend.
The final man representing the U.S. is Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.), the 2016 Junior World Champion, who placed fourth at July’s 2021 Americas Triathlon Cup Long Beach.
All three men racing are a part of Project Podium, a men’s elite development program based at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. This program is designed to further develop top young male USA Triathlon Elite athletes with the goal of helping them achieve medal performances in the Olympic Games.
USA enters Sunday’s Mixed Relay as the top-ranked team in the 16-nation field. Both Kasper and McQueen were on the winning team in the Mixed Relay event in Montreal in August.