Samarkand hosts last weekend of World Triathlon Cup action in the Olympic Qualification period

by on 15 May, 2024 11:27
Samarkand hosts last weekend of World Triathlon Cup action in the Olympic Qualification period

With qualification opportunities for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games now down to their final fortnight, the first ever Samarkand World Cup assumes huge significance for many of the 37 women set to toe the line on Saturday morning in Uzbekistan.

After two years of Asia Triathlon Cups here, the step up to hosting a World Cup sees an Olympic-distance course that boasts a 1500m, two lap swim, transitioning into 6 laps and 40km on the bike around the Silk Road Samarkand rowing lake, and wrapping up with a 4-lap run to the tape.

It’s flat and fast, one dead turn and two technical bike sections, a tight 10km run, and everything on the line for the athletes chasing their Paris 2024 dreams. Watch it all unfold over on from 10.30am local time on Saturday 18 May.

Xinyu Lin wears the one

After the disappointment of a DNF in Chengdu, China’s medal hope Xinyu Lin wears the number one with renewed determination to become her country’s first ever World Cup champion this weekend. An Asian Games and Asian Continental runner-up, Xinyu was also the Asia Cup silver medallist here in 2022 behind Sinem Francisca Tous Servera, who also goes out for Turkey.

Both women look on course for their first Olympic Games on 31 July, Tous with two potential qualifying options; either through her individual ranking or the Europe New Flag. If the latter, it could have a huge impact on the Olympic fortunes of the Slovakian trio of Ivana Kuriackova, Zuzana Michalickova and Romana Gajdosova, with the three in close contention for that possible New Flag slot, though Michalickova will hope to put it beyond any doubt and score individual qualification herself with a strong race.

Races for places continues among Team World Triathlon

The young Slovak stands 10 places behind Erica Hawley, Bermuda’s latest talent and the last name currently in the automatic qualification slots. All four have been central figures of Team World Triathlon in recent years, the development squad dedicated to helping athletes from smaller National Federations with fewer resources to realise their Olympic potential. Czech duo Petra Kurikova and Tereza Zimovjanova join the three Slovakians on the team for Samarkand.

Bronze medallist in Chengdu and in a brilliant run of form is Poland’s Roksana Slupek. The 24-year-old has already surpassed her 6-race first qualification period points total in just three outings, and followed that first World Cup medal with Asia Cup gold in Taizhou last weekend. In form and one to watch, she was shoulder-to-shoulder with Tilda Mansson for much of that 10km in China, proving she has the speed to challenge for the medals at this level. The rising Swedish star scooped yet another World Cup podium and starts here hungry for redemption after a mechanical took her out of WTCS Yokohama before her race got going.

Nothing flat about Holland’s return

The British team can count on a former World Champion in Vicky Holland, who follows up what proved an excellent return to Series racing with 18th in Yokohama. She will be alongside Hong Kong World Cup Champion Sian Rainsley and rising star Jessica Fullagar.

Ilaria Zane will want to tighten her grip on a possible place in Paris for Team Italy, while Germany’s Lena Meissner, a bronze-winning revelation at the 2022 Championship Finals Abu Dhabi, arrives on a mission to rediscover that magic once more.

If Therese Feuersigner can set the swim alight just as she did in Chengdu, the Austrian could blow the race wide open, Australia’s Emma Jeffcoat likely to be right there with her in the water as she continues her World Cup comeback. 

World Triathlon Cup Samarkand
Full start list
18 May, 10.30am local time

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