Gearing up for the World Triathlon elite season

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Elite international racing resumes in May as the 2021 World Triathlon Para Series and 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series both get underway in Yokohama.

World Triathlon Para Series

The World Triathlon Para Series (WTPS) will consist of two events in 2021, with elite paratriathlon heading to Yokohama in May and Leeds in June.

The Japanese city of Yokohama will once again welcome the world’s best paratriathletes when the racing takes place on 15 May.

Located around 20 miles south of the capital Tokyo, Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city and will see the athletes complete a 750m swim, followed by a 20km bike around the bay area before finishing with a 5km run that will culminate in Yamashita Park.

Following its postponement in 2020, British athletes will be looking to repeat the success of 2019 where four of the five competing brought home a medal.

For the first time, the top level of paratriathlon racing will take place in Britain as AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds welcomes the WTPS as part of the weekend schedule.

Starting and finishing in Roundhay Park on Saturday 5 June, for many British athletes, this may be the first time they’ve competed in an international triathlon race on home soil as they swim, bike, run in and around the park.

The previous elite paratriathlon race to take part in Britain was in 2018 when Eton Dorney hosted a Paratriathlon World Cup race, which saw no fewer than nine Brits claim gold across the classifications.  

Groupe Copley 2021 World Triathlon Montreal was also due to WTPS races, however, it’s rearrangement is too close to the Paralympic Games to hold WTPS racing as well as the World Triathlon Championship Series races.

The Paratriathlon World Championships in Milan have been postponed from the first weekend of May due to the Covid-19 situation in Italy, with the new date is yet to be confirmed.

World Triathlon Championship Series

In 2021, the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) will consist of sprint, standard, mixed relay races and the new eliminator format of racing, with Edmonton, Canada hosting the championship finals.

Similarly to the WTPS, the first races of the WTCS will take place in Yokohama and Leeds over the standard distance before moving to Hamburg for a sprint distance and mixed relay event as the final racing in the series before the Tokyo Olympic Games.

After the Games, the series will head to Canada for a double-header that will introduce a new format to World Triathlon racing and see the 2021 world champions crowned.

In Montreal from 13-15 August, the eliminator format of racing will take place for the first time and see sixty athletes whittled down to ten across two days of supersprint action to decide the winner.

Day one will see sixty cut to thirty in two qualifying races and up to two repechage races, before day two sees three super-sprint races, with the last ten in each race eliminated and the winner of the third claiming the gold medal.

From Montreal, the athletes will travel west to Edmonton for the World Triathlon Championship Finals and the crowning of the overall series champions.

The provincial capital of Alberta was due to host the finals in 2020 and has retained the status for this year, with a change to the traditional schedule seeing the finale of the WTCS and the U23, Aquabike and Age-Group Standard Distance World Championships and Age-Group Supersprint World Championships all take place.

The change in schedule in Edmonton is to see the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships take place in Bermuda from 15-17 October.

The Atlantic island will host these two races alongside a WTCS supersprint eliminator race and sprint and mixed relay world championships for Age-Group and Junior athletes, with the action all focussed around the capital city, Hamilton.

Having moved from its place as the series opener due to the pandemic, Abu Dhabi will now host the world’s best triathletes in November for sprint and mixed relay racing.

When international elite triathlon last took place in the city, Alex Yee introduced himself to the top level of racing with a silver medal and Jess Learmonth brought home a bronze.

Chengdu, China is also set to host its first race in the WTCS, however a rearranged date has yet to be announced following its postponement.

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