By Courtney Akrigg on 25/10/18 at 3:15 am
Tongyeong, South Korea, will set the scene to host the 17th stop of the ITU World Cup tour of 2018, the penultimate race of the season. The race destination boasts scenic harbour views where a strong field of athletes will tackle a frantic sprint distance race this Saturday. The city has been a fixture of the elite triathlon map since 2009 when it staged its first ITU World Triathlon Series race, and this weekend a total of 67 elite men and 51 women will line up in pursuit of a World Cup triumph.
The Spanish triathlete will face some fierce competition with the likes of USA’s Eli Hemming and Australia’s Marcel Walkington. Hemming will be motivated to stay with the leaders on Saturday as he is yet to step up onto a World Cup podium this season. Walkington claimed the silver medal at the ITU Astana World Cup back in May and being a swim specialist will be a notable contender to dominate off the Korean coast.
Another Australian elite male who will be on the hunt for World Cup glory is Brandon Copeland. Copeland, a specialist across this type of firing race format, claimed 5th place at last year’s World Cup here on the Korean coast and will be motivated to cap his season with a podium finish. Frenchman Felix Duchampt has a stellar World Cup season under his belt, with 2nd place at the ITU World Cup in Chengdu earlier in the year and fifth place in the ITU Huatulco World Cup, the strong biker and runner will be on the pursuit for a medal.
Russell White, representing Ireland, is known for his strong swim and bike combination. After running home with the silver medal in the ITU World Cup Karlovy in September in front of Italy’s Alessandro Fabian who finished in bronze, both men will be looking to use their strength and cap their seasons with strong performances.
67 elite men will line up at 11.45am (local time) on Saturday, 27 October.
Japan’s Ai Ueda has claimed back to back silvers in the ITU Tongyeong World Cup in 2016 and 2017 and will have her sights firmly fixed taking the tape in 2018, hopeful of taking top spot on the podium.
New Zealand’s talented young gun Nicole Van Der Kaay has had an impressive season with a fourth place in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final U23 race on the Gold Coast and will be one to watch on Saturday.
Pushing the elite women hard will be Italy’s Annamarie Mazzetti who enters in striking race form and has proved herself well across this type of racing. The Italian triathlete claimed silver in the 2018 ITU Weihai World Cup and bronze in the ITU World Cup Karlovy, both races were staged last month.
Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs lead the charge to dominate the Hong Kong ASTC Sprint Triathlon last weekend and is hopeful that the solid block of recent training in Hong Kong will set her up for success in Tongyeong.
USA’s Renee Tomlin won in Sarasota two weeks ago and has had a brilliant season with a gold medal team performance at the Sarasota Mixed Relay American Championships and fifth in the ITU World Cup in Huelva. The powerful sprint race format suits the American triathlete who will no doubt be seeded with the race leaders on Saturday.
51 elite women will line up at 9.30am (local time) on Saturday, 27 October.
The athletes racing as part of the ASICS World Triathlon Team 2018 and development program are:
Diana Marcela Castillo Franco (COL)
Kaidi Kivioja (EST)
Tuan Chun Chang (TPE)
Juan Jose Andrade Figueroa (ECU)
Gregory Ernest (MRI)
Marion Kim Mangrobang (PHI)
Jia Chi Kuo (TPE)
Tongyeong’s World Cup will take place on Saturday October 27, with the elite women taking the stage at 9.30am (2.30 am CET) and the elite men racing at 11.45 am (04.45 am CET). Follow the race action with live timing on triathlon.org/live and on Twitter on @TriathlonLive with the hashtag #TongyeongWC.
Find more details about this event - 2018 Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup