The 2016 triathlon season was a year that the world will never forget. From the World Triathlon Series, World Cups, World Championships and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it was a busy year that produced nothing short of unbelievable moments.
So what moments stood out the most?
Over the next few weeks we will be naming the “Best of 2016” moments from the year, anything from top performances to inspirational finishes, because when you have a year like we just had, you have to celebrate it.
Men’s Swim: Richard Varga (SVK) all year long
When it comes to the water, Varga has positioned himself as a stroke above the rest. He has achieved total domination in the swim discipline, especially in the 2016 season after being the swim leader in all but one race he competed in. He led out of the water in four WTS races this year, Gold Coast, Cape Town, Stockholm and Edmonton as well as being dubbed the swim leader at the Rio Olympics. It is evident that he has become one of the most successful competitors in the water in triathlon history after continuously coming out on top. At the end of the 2016 year, in his career he had earned the title of swim leader in 28 of 34 WTS races. All hail the Swim King!
Honorable Mentions: Aurelian Raphael (FRA)
Raphael had a standout year in 2016, a large part of which can be attributed to his skills in the water. After exiting the water first at the Cagliari World Cup, he then went on to earn the silver medal and first World Cup podium since 2012. He then also led out of the water at the Grand Final this year in Cozumel, which put him in the running to be in the lead bike packs.
Honorable Mentions: Henri Schoeman (RSA)
This season could not have gone better for Schoeman. After earning the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics and then going on to win his first WTS race at the Cozumel Grand Final, it will be hard to top the momentum and success of his 2016 year. But those accomplishments were earned because he is one of the strongest swimmers in the field. He was the swim leader in the WTS races of Abu Dhabi, Gold Coast and Hamburg, but is always within the top in every race he competes in. It was this year that Schoeman proved he is the total triathlete.
Honorable Mentions: Aaron Royle (AUS)
If Royle is racing then expect him to be among the top of the pack in the water. In every race competed in this season, he has been among the top men exiting out of the water. In Leeds he was third out of the swim, which ultimately helped him earn third overall and step onto his first WTS podium.