Fun facts for WTCS Leeds

Flora Duffy. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

This weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds promises to be one of the most exciting draft-legal races of the year. We’ll have more of a preview along with details on how you can watch the event (hint – later this week. Today, though, we’ll have a look at some of the interesting things we’ll be watching for this weekend. (Thanks to the media crew at World Triathlon for many of these!)

  1. Lucy Charles-Barclay makes her short-course debut. The British long-distance star has been trying out some different things in 2021, including Super League Arena Games racing, the British Swimming Trials 1,500 m and, now, a draft-legal WTCS event! Should be fun to watch.
  2. Speaking of Charles-Barclay, Jessica Learmonth has led the way out of the water in three of the four Leeds races. Will she be able to hold off the fast-swimming Charles-Barclay on Sunday?
  3. Showdowns for Olympic spots. We’ve talked about how this weekend’s race will decide whether Great Britain will send Alistair Brownlee or Alex Yee to Tokyo (unless the country is able to secure a third men’s spot). This weekend will also see a showdown between America’s Katie Zaferes and Taylor Spivey, ranked first and third in the World Triathlon Olympic ranking. Thanks to some bad luck at the previous qualifying races, those two suddenly find themselves in the hunt for the remaining Olympic spot to join Summer Rappaport (qualified at the Tokyo Test Event) and Taylor Knibb (qualified at WTCS Yokohama).
  4. Flora Duffy (BER) makes her return to racing in Leeds. She has 10 WTCS wins on her resume and, along with Vicky Holland (GBR), is a previous winner in Leeds.
  5. Kristian Blummenfelt is racing … again! Does this guy never get tired? After wins in Yokohama and Lisbon, along with a spirited leg at the Mixed Team Relay qualifier in Portugal, Blummenfelt took seventh on the brutal course in Arzachena last weekend. He’s back for more, though – he’ll be wearing race #1 on Sunday.
  6. The three medalists from the 2012 Olympics will be in the field on Sunday – Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez and Jonathan Brownlee.
  7. Go for the win … help Tom Bishop – the British conundrum. As we wrote yesterday, Tom Bishop has been traveling the world to try and move himself into the top 30 of the Olympic ranking, which would get Great Britain a third men’s spot in Tokyo.

And you thought we were joking about how exciting this race will be!