Final weekend of Olympic qualifying sees top athletes head to Huatulco, Mexico

Photo: World Triathlon/ Wagner Araujo

With Olympic qualifying for triathlon closing on June 14, this weekend’s World Triathlon Cup Huatulco sees a number of athletes lining up in hopes of earning themselves a chance to race at the upcoming Games in Tokyo. This weekend’s sprint race features a one-lap 750 m swim off Santa Cruz beach, a four-lap 20 km bike and a two-lap 5 km run.

Flora Duffy (BER) was set to be the top-ranked woman in the race this weekend, but she’s pulled out “due to some minor problems,” according to World Triathlon, which leaves American Kirsten Kasper as the highest ranked woman in the field. Also in the field is the bronze medalist from 2019, the last year the race was held, Lisa Perterer (AUS), who is heading to Tokyo and looking to use the race as part of her build up to the Games. Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR), who won the Europe Triathlon Cup in Dnipro last weekend is also in the field.

Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk is back in Huatulco to defend the title he won in 2019. (The race was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Australia’s Aaron Royle sits at 29th in the Olympic standings and needs a solid performance to ensure he stays in the top 30 and thus ensures Australia will have three men’s qualifiers for Tokyo. One spot behind him in the rankings is Eli Hemming, who also needs to stay in the top 30 to ensure America can send three men to Tokyo. Countryman Kevin McDowell is also looking for a good day to try and prove to the American selectors he’s worth adding to the Olympic team, too. Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales, the 2015 Pan Am champion, sits at 31st in the Olympic standings and would certainly love to thrill the crowd with a top finish.

You can find the start lists for this weekend’s races here.

Watch the races LIVE on
Elite Women’s Race – Saturday, 18h local time 
Elite Men’s Race – Sunday, 8h local time