After eight thrilling ITU World Triathlon Series races this year, the men's and women's elite World Championship titles will be decided in heated battles this week at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel from September 14-18.
In the women's race, Flora Duffy (BER) has dominated the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings and will have a chance to claim her first-ever World Championship crown. However, Olympic gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen (USA) is just 166 points behind Duffy, so the women's race is expected to be a tight head-to-head battle, with Duffy having to finish in the top two in Cozumel if Jorgensen wins the race on Saturday. Likewise, on the men's side it's also another close match-up between Spaniard Mario Mola and Great Britain's two-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee. The two men are only separated by 235 points, meaning the title will all be decided in Cozumel. If Brownlee wins the race on Sunday, Mola needs third or better to win the overall world title. The week-long Grand Final event will be jam-packed with races outside of the elite line ups. Juniors, U23, age groupers, mixed relays and the aquathlon World Championship will also be decided hroughout the week.
ABOUT THE RACE: The Cozumel Grand Final will mark the fourth time the popular beach resort has hosted an ITU race, with the city having hosted a World Cup every year since 2013. In its first year hosting the World Cup, Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez and Olympic gold medallist Nicola Spirig each stormed through the race to win in dominating fashion. Spirig returned the next year to again take the title. With its clear ocean waters and colorful city as a background, Cozumel is one of the most picturesque races to hit the ITU calendar.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR:
Elite Women's Preview
The 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series will come to an end this week at the World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel. Two-time reigning world champion and Olympic gold medallist Jorgensen will attempt to defend her title over top-ranked Duffy on Saturday, September 17 at 3.30pm. If Jorgensen wins the world title, she will become just the second woman to win three world championship titles. She already owns more World Triathlon Series overall titles with two consecutive wins. Click here for the complete preview
Elite Men's Preview
After a whirlwind year of exciting World Triathlon Series racing, the time has finally come to crown the men’s ITU World Champion. With multiple men sharing success throughout the year, the quest for the World title is closer than ever. Mola has been the leader of the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings for the majority of the season and will enter Cozumel still grasping tightly to that position. However, Great Britain’s Brownlee is on his heels in the Rankings and will want to do anything he can to get the title for himself. Click here for the complete preview
The men’s Under23 World Championships will be one of the first triathlon World Champ races to kick the Grand Final off on Thursday, September 15 at 3pm. The women will follow on Friday, September 16 at 7:30am. The Under23 athletes will complete one 1.5km loop in the ocean, followed by eight laps over a 40km bike and ending with a four-lap 10km run. Two-time Junior World Champion and Olympian Laura Lindemann. might be racing as an Under23 for the first time, but expect nothing less than a medal for the young German athlete. The men’s Under23 start list reads like a who’s who of up and comers for men’s triathlon. Gordon Benson (GBR), like Lindemann, is fresh off his first bid at the Olympics. Click here for the complete preview
The junior men’s and women’s World Championship races will be contested on Friday, September 16 and 3pm and 5pm, respectively. The world crowns will be earned over a sprint distance course that includes a one-lap swim, followed by a flat and technical four-lap 20km bike and finished with a two-lap 5km flat and fast run. Click here for the complete preview