Athletes ready to start World Cup season in New Plymouth with Olympic points on the line
World Triathlon racing returns in 2023 and lands in New Plymouth, New Zealand, on Sunday 26th March, for the first race on the circuit calendar. With Olympic qualification underway for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the international fields in New Plymouth are stacked with talent, ready to put it all on the line and earn valuable Olympic points. Expect hard and fast racing in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup New Plymouth over the sprint distance course starting from Ngamotu Beach with a 750m swim (1-lap). 20km bike (4 laps) and 5km run (3-laps). Follow the Elite races on TriathlonLive.tv (LIVE and on-demand) on Sunday, 26th March with the women starting from 11am local time and the men at 1.30pm.
ELITE WOMEN’S RACE
USA’s Erika Acklerlund lines up wearing number 1 in the women’s race and will be faced with some serious competition with the likes of Frenchwoman Sandra Dodet, New Zealand’s Nicole Van der Kaay and Australian sisters Jaz Hedgeland and Kira Hedgeland. Dodet is a powerhouse across the sprint distance triathlon format. Van der Kaay is fresh from her Oceania Cup and Sprint Championship win in Devonport, Australia, last weekend where Kira Hedgeland claimed a bronze medal.
USA’s Gina Sereno, Australia’s Sophie Linn, Charlotte McShane and Canada’s Amelia Kretz will be ones to watch on Sunday. All women have powerful swim, bike and run combinations and will be highly motivated to remain at the front of the race in New Plymouth.
The athlete’s name that stands out on the start list is 2016 Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen who will make her Triathlon comeback, since her gold medal performance in Rio, in New Plymouth. Jorgensen, who retired in 2016 make the switch to marathon running and has also since become a mother to two sons, has announced her motivation to qualify and represent USA in the Triathlon Mixed Relay event in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
ELITE MEN’S RACE
The men’s field is headlined by New Zealand’s own Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde. Japan’s Makota Odakura, Spain’s David Castro Fajardo, USAs Seth Rider and Portugal’s Ricardo Batista are all at the top of the start list. Some big names are seeded down the list with the likes of Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk, Australia’s Jake Birtwhisle, Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales and Great Britain’s Ben Dijkstra, all looking to set up their season with a podium result in New Plymouth.
The field is strengthened with sprint-distance specialists including New Zealand’s Tayler Reid, Australia’s Brandon Copeland and Italy’s Nicola Azzano.
We could expect breakthrough performances from athletes like Kaue Willy of Brazil and Australia’s Oscar Dart, all athletes fuelled with motivation to rise through the rankings and have standout performances on the world stage.
Mexico has four Elite men and four Elite women starting in New Plymouth, seeking World Cup experience and points, within the Olympic qualification window for Paris 2024.
Luxembourg is also well represented with Bob Haller and Gregor Payet eager to have strong performances in New Plymouth, for the first World Cup of the season in an important year of Olympic qualification.
The 2023 World Triathlon Cup New Plymouth takes in the beautiful Ngamotu Beach and the surrounding scenic roads of Taranaki. The 2023 event will be part of the TRI Taranaki Festival incorporating the New Zealand Sprint Distance Championships. Visit the website for more information.
To review full start lists for the 2023 World Triathlon Cup New Plymouth, visit the website.
"It's a big question mark and it's a big unknown" - Gwen Jorgensen on Podcast #70USA's Rio 2016 Olympic Triathlon Champion Gwen Jorgensen is back on the blue carpet in 202301:16 - 06 Feb, 2023