Paris 2024 Qualification Period rolls into big final fortnight with Samarkand World Cup

by doug.gray@triathlon.org on 15 May, 2024 11:53
Paris 2024 Qualification Period rolls into big final fortnight with Samarkand World Cup

One weekend, two World Cups, two continents, one huge goal: Paris 2024 Qualification. As we reach the pointy end of the chases for places on the 30 July Olympic start line, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, gets ready to host an Olympic-distance thriller that could decide the 2024 Games destiny of several athletes.

It’s a two-lap, 1500m swim with no out-and-back-in at halfway, before an attritional 40km ride with rolling climbs, a dead turn and two s-bends on each of the 6 laps, before four flat, tight 2.5km run laps to the tape.

For some of the athletes from Germany, Japan, USA and Hungary, a strong result here could be the final determinant of a place on the team for Paris. For others, including members of Team World Triathlon, the points won here could also help secure qualification once the numbers are crunched post-WTCS Cagliari.

Put simply, now is the moment to pull out the performances of a lifetime, and you can watch it all unfold on TriathlonLive.tv from 1.30pm local time on Saturday 18 March.


Schomburg and Priester, one and two

The race number one is Germany’s Jonas Schomburg. The 30-year-old followed career-best silver in Chengdu at the end of April with 19th in Yokohama to anchor himself at 17th in the Olympic rankings with two races to go, 16 spots ahead of nearest rival Lasse Nygaard Priester.

Priester has four World Cup podiums to his name, including a Karlovy Vary win in 2021, but has lost ground on Schomburg in the first races of this year. After a poor swim in China, Priester actually had one of his best in Yokohama, exiting just 17 seconds behind Schomburg, but it is the race number one who is sure to be piling on the pressure from the outset, knowing that another podium here would surely see him safely to Paris.

Hungarians’ seek to divide and conquer

The Hungarians in action this weekend hoping for top 30 finishes to guarantee their full Olympic delegation of three men are Mark Devay and Gabor Faldum in Samarkand, Bence Bicsak in Huatulco. Only a maximum of two can join Csongor Lehmann in Paris, and just five places separate the contenders.

If true to form in Uzbekistan, Devay will no doubt be one of the first out of the water, Faldum one of the fastest over the run. For now, what that ultimately reveals in the results is anyone’s guess, but the raw hunger of both to podium will be in no doubt.

For Japan’s top-ranked Makoto Odakura and Aoba Yasumatsu, the race is on to deliver the decisive display that could see either man join Kenji Nener in Paris. Seth Rider will also be eager to put himself right in the shop window to join Morgan Pearson for a first Games, or even scoop a first World Cup win that would suddenly put the USA in the reckoning for a third men’s spot.

Swiss looking to boss the bike

Bike powerhouses Simon Westermann and Sylvain Fridelance – 65th and 69th in the rankings – will want to put themselves in the reckoning for Team Switzerland. France’s Paul Georgenthum and former U23 World Champion Conor Bentley (GBR) should have designs on a big performance on Saturday, Emil Holm’s unfortunate crash in Yokohama and strong showing in Chengdu could see him primed for a big push.

Tyler Smith is the sole male member of Team World Triathlon in Samarkand, the Bermudian looking to secure the big finish that would pay off the hard work on the bike in recent outings, and along with the fearless young Greek Panagiotis Bitados and Morocco’s Badr Siwane will be ones to watch on Saturday.


WORLD TRIATHLON CUP SAMARKAND
Full start list
18 May, 1.30pm local time
TRIATHLONLIVE.TV

Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Cup Samarkand
18 May, 2024 • event pageall results
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