By Chelsea White on 12/07/16 at 9:50 am
In the final World Triathlon Series race before the Olympics, Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon offers Rio-bound athletes a final speed tune up with a sprint-distance race. Also one of just three World Triathlon Series races left on the calendar, the one-lap swim, six-lap bike and two-lap run course offers final opportunities to accumulate critical points in the hunt for a World Championship title.
Gunning for that World Champion title is Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson. Currently third in the Columbia Threadneedle rankings, she already has two WTS medals this season. Stimpson is also no stranger to the Hamburg podium, having earned the bronze in 2013. Despite being forced to withdrawal from Stockholm mid-race due to illness, Stimpson could maintain her momentum towards a World Championship crown if she does well in Hamburg.
But trailing in the ranks right behind her in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings is American Gwen Jorgensen. As the back-to-back champion in WTS Hamburg for the last two years, Jorgensen has history on her side. A gold this weekend could mean a three-peat victory and her 18th WTS title. Hamburg will no doubt be an important test of her speed with just over a month to go until the Rio Olympics.
Jorgensen will also have the company of her fellow compatriots, Katie Zaferes and Renee Tomlin. While Zaferes has not reached a WTS podium yet this year, she tallied six WTS medals in 2015. Tomlin, on the other hand, was recently crowned the victor at the Tiszaujvaros World Cup last weekend, so will be entering the weekend on a competition high.
Brit Helen Jenkins is three for three so far this year in WTS podium performances. The three-time Olympian is strong in all three disciplines and executed a successful break away on the bike in Gold Coast that was instrumental in her win, which is the only time Jorgensen has lost since Cape Town in 2014. A strong swim and bike from the Brit in Hamburg will be critical in securing another WTS gold. Jenkins and Stimpson will have the help of teammate Lucy Hall on the swim and bike, which could have serious implications to the eventual podium.
Ai Ueda (JPN) has been busy this year in the Series, competing in every single WTS race on the calendar. But her packed racing schedule has paid off, as she earned bronze bronze in Yokohama and has had four top-ten finishes.
The women will get the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon underway at 16:35 on Saturday July 16, while the men will follow at 18:40 local time. Follow all of the action live at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter @triathlonlive. Trifecta returns this year with new features. Create a new login and pick your favourites now at trifecta.usatriathlon.org.
Join the conversation with the hashtags #WTSHamburg and #CTrankings.
Find more details about this event - 2016 ITU World Triathlon Hamburg