Olympic qualification points up for grab in Huatulco

by Olalla Cernuda on 16 May, 2024 07:43 • Español
Olympic qualification points up for grab in Huatulco

With less than ten days to close the Olympic qualification period, all eyes are set this weekend on two different spots: Samarkand, in Uzbekistan, and Huatulco, in Mexico. Both cities will host this weekend’s World Triathlon Cups that will award some of the last available Olympic points up for grabs, as the race to get a ticket to Paris24 heats up. Most of the athletes who are competing in the World Triathlon Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Event in Huatulco this Friday are staying for the World Cup during the weekend. Sprint distance, beach start, heat and humidity… buckle up! The women’s field in Huatulco is stacked with talent and the Olympic hopes are higher than ever.

Huatulco is already a classic stop on the World Triathlon Cup circuit, but on this edition, the venue has changed slightly, to Playa Chaué, 800m away from the town center. The athletes will face a 750m swim with a beach start that will take them to open and choppy Pacific Ocean waters to do one lap counter-clockwise, to then face a long 400m run to transition. The bike course is also challenging, with four laps planned, of 5km each, with a considerable climb on each lap, to then finish with a fast a technical 5km run.

Wearing the number 1 on the beach of Huatulco this Saturday evening will be Rachel Klamer. The Dutch woman was back on the podium of a World Cup last year in Karlovy Vary and seems to be again in great running form, and she is always a very dangerous one when the race is to be decided in the last leg. Huatulco, with a long run out of the swim and a hard bike and run course, looks like a perfect scenario for Klamer to return to the podium.

The beach start and the long run to transition are actually great factors in favour of Zsanett Kuttor-Bragmayer. The young Hungarian’s goal is to qualify the team for the Olympic Games on Friday at the Mixed Relay Qualifier, but has also eyes set on the individual race. She arrived in Huatulco one week ago to get her body ready used to the extreme weather conditions in Mexico, and seems to have adapted really well to the heat and humidity.

Another athlete who knows extremely well what it takes to race under the weather conditions in Mexico is Elizabeth Bravo (ECU). Aiming for her fourth consecutive Olympic Games, the Ecuadorian would be on the start list of Paris if things stand as they are now, but a good result in Huatulco will give her enough points to breathe calmly the last days of the qualification period. In a similar situation are Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto (COL) and Lisa Perterer (AUT). Both of them are currently on the last spots of the rankings, and need desperately a good result in Huatulco, since some of the women who are also fighting for those last spots are racing in Samarkand -an Standard distance race that gives more points than a Sprint distance-.

For Maria Carolina, silver medallist at the 2023 PanAmerican Games, the season started really well with a second place at the Wollongong World Cup but she was not able to finish the race in Chengdu, and is in need for some points that will give her a bit of a rest. She is well used to the conditions in Huatulco, where she has finished in 9th place the two years that she lined up here before. Since Colombia dropped last minute the team for the Mixed Relay race, she will be a bit more rested than Perterer, who has to double up on Friday to try to secure her country two spots on the Paris 24 Olympics, and then on Saturday on the individual race.

Gina Sereno and Erika Ackerlund will be leading the USA team, joined this time by 2017 U23 World Champion Tamara Gorman, who is returning to the circuit after multiple injuries that kept her out of the blue carpet. The three of them are fast runners and are used to the extreme weather conditions of Mexico. Another fast runner that will enjoy the long run out of the beach will be indeed Alberte Kjær Pedersen (DEN), ready to shine on a course that seems to fit her really well, and another athlete that will have the benefit of toeing the start line fresh.

The hard bike course seems to fit extremely well the likes of Solveig Lovseth (NOR), one of the strongest bikers on the circuit, and who is looking to consolidate her Olympic rankings as well, and so are Romina Biagoili (ARG) and Vicky Van Der Merwe (RSA), who have secured their presence at the Paris 2024 Olympics via the new flag classification.

The Women’s race in Huatulco will unfold at 17.30h local time in Mexico on Saturday, and you can watch it live on TriathlonLIVE.tv.
Check the full start lists here

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Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Cup Huatulco
18 - 19 May, 2024 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Richard Murray NED 00:58:07
2. Mathis Beaulieu CAN 00:58:15
3. John Reed USA 00:58:21
4. Erwin Vanderplancke BEL 00:58:25
5. João Nuno Batista POR 00:58:29
Results: Elite Women
1. Alberte Kjær Pedersen DEN 01:04:54
2. Rachel Klamer NED 01:04:54
3. Solveig Løvseth NOR 01:04:54
4. Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto COL 01:05:00
5. Gina Sereno USA 01:05:08
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