Edmonton ready for the Mixed Relay Series finale
The last stop of the 2019 ITU Mixed Relay Series will see 13 teams competing in Edmonton, and with the current World Champions -France- not taking the start, the field is more open than ever for teams that are looking forward getting some really valuable ranking points to qualify their nation to the debut of the Mixed Relay in the Tokyo 2002 Olympics.
The Aussie team already knows what it is to win in the Series, after their victory in the first Relay of the season in Abu Dhabi. Lining up in the race this Sunday will be a different team than the one that claimed bronze two weeks ago in the World Championships in Hamburg, but still a really strong squad with Ashleigh Gentle, Aaron Royle, Jaz Hedgeland and Matthew Hauser.
And another team from Oceania that knows what it is to be in the podium with their relay es New Zealand, who finished in third place in Edmonton last year, and that is relying on Ansley Thorpe, Hayden Wilde, Nicole Van der Kaay and Taylor Reid to try to improve their current ranking in the Mixed Relay qualification list, which will automatically give the country two male and two female spots for the Olympics.
Having a double Olympic champion like Jonathan Brownlee in the team means that, as per usual, team Great Britain can’t also be counted off, with Sophie Coldwell, Gordon Benson and India Lee also in the team.
Team USA won’t have a usual team lining up in Edmonton, and with Matthew McElroy finishing in the hospital after a crash on Saturday, the Americans have decided to try a different team for the last leg of the season, with Taylor Knibb, Seth Rider, Summer Rapapport and Morgan Pearson lining up, none of them with a great experience in this fast and furious format.
Spaniard Fernando Alarza might be giving the relays a try in Edmonton after being named initially for the team, along with Anna Godoy Contreras, Miriam Casillas and Roberto Sanchez Mantecon, while for Canada, Amelie Kretz, Matthew Sharpe, Desirae Ridenour and Alexis Lepage will be wearing the red and white colours.
The Netherlands, Switzerland, japan, Italy, Mexico and China will complete the start list, with team Belgium and team Hungary having to withdrawn after some accidents in the individual races on Saturday. The teams will line up for the 300m swim, 7km bike and 1.7km run course, knowing that explosive power is often the winning formula across this format.
The teams have until up to two hours before the race start to announce their final squad line ups, which leads to the first strategic battle of the day with some countries announcing their athletes well in advance, while others prefer to wait until the last minute.
The Edmonton Mixed Relay Series will start on Sunday at 16.30 local time, and remember you can watch the race live on triathlonlive.tv!