The ITU World Triathlon Championships take place in Cozumel, Mexico starting today, 15 September. This weekend’s senior races feature all three of Britain’s Olympic medal winners, Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland.
Alistair Brownlee has already won a world title since arriving in Mexico via the Beijing International triathlon, which he won on Sunday. Yesterday he won the Aquathlon title, which involves a run followed by a swim, followed by another run.
However, it is Jonathan Brownlee, who has the best opportunity to win a triathlon world title based on his second place standing in the ITU World Triathlon Series rankings. Spain’s Mario Mola is leading and favourite to win, but it’s not completely against the odds that Brownlee could upset the form, especially if Alistair is able to assist tactically.
If Jonathan can win Sunday’s race, he relies on Mola finishing fourth or lower in order to win the title. Brownlee insists that he has already achieved his goal for the season in having won Olympic silver in Rio, however, the world title would be a significant bonus.
Having competed in only three of the required five rounds of the Series, Alistair Brownlee is out of the running for the title. Adam Bowden is on track to achieve his highest ever Series finish, currently lying in sixth place overall.
Olympians Non Stanford and Vicky Holland are unlikely to challenge for the world title, having not completed enough races in the build up to this final. However, they will want to finish as high up as they can in the final race of the Series.
If Helen Jenkins finds her early season form and has recovered from a bug in Rio, she could also challenge for a top spot. Unfortunately Jodie Stimpson, who had the best opportunity to aim for the world title, has withdrawn with an Achilles tear.
Britain has very strong chances across the junior and under 23 races as well, with Grant Sheldon having finished fourth in the penultimate round of the Series in Edmonton against senior opponents and having won the FISU World University Triathlon Championships last month. Olympian Gordon Benson joins him along with Leeds University’s Calum Johnson tonight UK time.
The women’s U23 race is tomorrow and features two former world championship medal winners, Georgia Taylor Brown and Sophie Coldwell. In the junior events some of Britain’s most talented juniors for many years will line up hoping to beat their competitors as well as Mexico’s intense heat.
In addition to the elite races, 424 British amateur athletes will compete for world titles in their respective age categories in the Age-Group events over standard and sprint distance.