Abu Dhabi: Nine of the world’s top 10 women in triathlon will lead a pack of 50 women from 20 countries at the ITU’s World Triathlon Series opener in Abu Dhabi on March 2.
The world-class field, set to tackle a 750-metre swim, 20-km bike and 5-km run over the Yas Island course, will be one of the most competitive women’s line-ups in the event’s history.
Crowded with world champions, Olympians, titleholders and contenders, the field includes; Abu Dhabi defending champion Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand, 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, Austria’s Sara Vilic who finished third in Abu Dhabi last year, World No. 2 Ashleigh Gentle of Australia, World No. 3 Katie Zaferes of the USA, and Great Britain’s Vicky Holland. The top nine participants boast a total of 61 wins and 171 podiums between them.
“This is another world-class field for Abu Dhabi and it’s fantastic to see nine of the top ten female triathletes in the world taking part, including two World Champions and 22 Olympians headlining the 2018 race,” said Abu Dhabi Sports Council general secretary Aref Al Awani.
“This will be one of the most exciting fields on the WTS calendar, greatly complementing our efforts to encourage more women in the region to follow in the footsteps of such inspirational athletes and take up the sport.”
After a stunning 2017 that saw Flora Duffy notch-up four golds on the WTS circuit and the World Championship, the Bermudian is now looking forward to make her debut over the Yas course in Abu Dhabi.
“I was disappointed to miss the Abu Dhabi race last year due to an injury,” she said. “I’ve heard a ton of great things about the course so I can’t wait to tackle it next month — especially the bike course which looks like it’s really suited to my aggressive style of racing.
“I’ve never topped the podium in Abu Dhabi so, of course, it would be amazing to start the season with a win. I’m going all in as always and hoping for the best possible outcome.”
In addition to the elite field, there are also amateur and junior categories suited to all ages and abilities, and, for the first time, opportunities for para-triathletes to sign up. All international triathletes can also avail tailored travel packages.
For more information, visit abudhabi.triathlon.org.