Star-studded line up of elite women confirmed for
ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi
London 2012’s four fastest women to line up alongside World Number five Katie Zaferes and Commonwealth Champion Jodie Stimpson
Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday, 27 February 2016: The International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will feature a stellar line up of the world’s leading elite women when the season-opening World Triathlon Series event gets underway on Saturday 5th March.
London 2012’s four fastest women, Nicola Spirig, Lisa Norden, Erin Densham and Sarah True will be looking to continue their Rio 2016 Games preparations on a high in the race on Abu Dhabi’s spectacular Corniche.
Lining up alongside the four will be American Katie Zaferes, the World Number five, as she continues her quest for Olympic qualification with just one spot remaining in her nation’s Olympic team. Zaferes will be looking to pick up maximum points in a bid to qualify to join compatriot, World Number three Sarah True, on Team USA in time for the summer games. 34-year-old Sarah True has already qualified for the summer games in Rio de Janeiro and will be competing in the Abu Dhabi race as part of her all-important preparations for Rio.
Zaferes, who finished second in the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, will be intent on starting her season well. The 26-year-old commented, “I’m really excited to return to Abu Dhabi. I won my first World Triathlon Series medal here last year, which set me up for my best season to date. I’m looking forward to racing the event over double the distance this year.”
London 2012 medallists Nicola Spirig, Lisa Norden and Erin Densham have surprised triathlon fans by confirming they will race against each other for the first time since the London Games almost four years ago.
London gold medallist and 2015 European Games champion Spirig, who qualified for Rio 2016 through her Baku victory last year, will line up at the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club against her fellow London podium finishers silver medallist Norden and bronze medallist Densham, as they reignite their rivalry for the first time since their Hyde Park race in 2012.
Swiss athlete Spirig - who will become only the fourth triathlete in the history of the sport to compete in four Olympic Games when she arrives in Brazil this summer – will face stiff competition from Norden (Sweden) and Densham (Australia) who are both yet to qualify to represent their nations in Rio and will be determined to start the this all-important year with a win as they return from injury.
Elsewhere in the star-studded field, Jodie Stimpson, the current Commonwealth Games Champion and Norden’s training partner, will also be looking to make a strong return from injury over the 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run in front of thousands of spectators in the UAE capital.
With only one spot left on Team GB’s Olympic Triathlon team, the 27-year-old Brit must finish well in Abu Dhabi, “Training has been going well and I have really enjoyed training in South Africa this winter period. Abu Dhabi will be my first triathlon of my 2016 race season so of course I am hoping for a good start and I will be concentrating on trying to do an overall good job in my race.”
Ahmed Abdullah Al Qubaisi, ADSC’s Director of Marketing and Communications commented, “The women’s ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi race is expected to be thrilling, providing spectators with an incredible display on the Corniche as the Olympic qualification race continues. Limited age group places are still available, giving participants the chance to experience the very same course as the best athletes in the world.”
The World Triathlon Abu Dhabi Age Group races cater for all fitness levels by offering a number of course options: Sprint (500m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run), Olympic (1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) and Maxi (1500m swim, 80km cycle, 20km run). Participants can enter any of these distances as an individual or as a team of friends, families or corporate colleagues.
This year also sees the return of the World Triathlon Abu Dhabi Junior Triathlon and Aquathlon; a fun event aimed at encouraging youngsters to get active. There are three entry categories: ‘Tiny Triathlete’ - a 50m swim and a 100m run (5 – 8 years), ‘Junior Aquathlon’ distance featuring a 200m swim and 1.5km run (9 – 15 years), and ‘Junior Triathlon Super Sprint’ which consists of a 375m swim, 10km cycle and a 2.5km run (11 – 17 years).