U23 World Championships look wide open ahead of weekend of Finals in Pontevedra

by doug.gray@triathlon.org on 19 Sep, 2023 10:36 • Español
U23 World Championships look wide open ahead of weekend of Finals in Pontevedra

As a litmus test of the future strength of top-tier triathlon, this year’s men’s and women’s U23 World Championship line ups could hardly look any healthier. Two start lists thick with global talent, only two of last year’s medallists returning to the fray and a host of names looking to mark their progressions onward with a world title. This weekend’s U23 action in Pontevedra looks set to deliver two absolute Olympic-distance triathlon classics.

The course is the same as the elites who will follow. Two laps and 1500m in the water transition to 8 x 5km laps on the bike and then 4 x 2.5km on the run. It’s a fast course, largely flat on bike and run alike with one sharp climb in the middle and speed bumps to negotiate, all ready to witness the next breakout stars plot their course to a glittering future via the ever-unpredictable scenarios of one-off U23 title racing.

You can watch full coverage of the men from 14:20 CEST on Saturday 23 September, the women from 14:00 CEST on Sunday 24 September, only on TriathlonLive.tv.

WOMEN’S PREVIEW: Full gas from Fullagar?

It was Jessica Fullagar who spearheaded last year’s brilliant bike breakaway with eventual women’s champion Kate Waugh, and the Brit returns for another crack in her first Olympic-distance race since then. She will be hoping she can hold the pace on the run with some fast legs over 10km chasing down any attempt to dominate the ride again this time around.

Among the home favourites will be Maria Casals Mojica, third in the 2021 Junior Worlds and who grabbed the opportunity of a first WTCS start in Sunderland with both hands. Germany’s podium potential comes in the form of Selina Klamt and Tanja Neubert who both featured well in the tough Karlovy Vary World Cup less than two weeks ago, Klamt finishing with a career-best 5th and hungry to podium after her 4th place in this race last year. 

Australia’s Ellie Hoitink has been racking up some big-race experience since her 17th in Abu Dhabi, with solid finishes from her first World Cups in Tiszy, Karlovy Vary and Huatulco, teammate Charlotte Derbyshire also enjoying life on the circuit, finishing 7th in Yeongdo last month.

Chisato Nakajima leads the Japanese medal charge, while the run power of Mexico’s Anahi Alvarez Corral means she likely only needs to be within a few minutes of the leaders off the bike to be in with a shout.

USA’s Faith Dasso is the youngest in the field and continues to show huge progress and potential, Zuzana Michalikova of Slovakia has recently scored World Cup top 10s in Valencia and Yeongdo, Barbara De Koning (NED) is amassing huge experience at the top level in 2023 and Brea Roderick (NZL) and the European Champs bronze medallist Cathia Schar (SUI) will also believe that this can be their time to shine.

MEN’S PREVIEW: Reilly and Kiss with unfinished business

They may have been chasing Connor Bentley’s shadow for much of the 10km run in Abu Dhabi last year, but Gergely Kiss (HUN) and Hamish Reilly (GBR) got closer than anyone else to the 2022 champion, and with the Brit not racing in Pontevedra, the pair will want to take their challenges even further this time around.

Competition will be fierce, with South Africa’s latest export Jamie Riddle looking to improve on a tough race in the heat of the UAE where he finished in 16th. Injury and illness have hampered his progress so far in this campaign, so a U23 medal would be an excellent way to move forward after a brilliant 2022. USA’s John Reed will want to get on the front pack and make his challenge after winning both the elite and U23 Americas Continental titles at the start of September.

David Cantero Del Campo will relish his shot at the title after a superb debut World Cup win in Valencia where he managed to out-muscle Lasse Nygaard Priester in the sprint finish for gold. The crowds will be right behind the Spanish contingent that includes another rising star in Esteban Basanta Fouz.

Saxon Morgan leads the New Zealand hopes, Alessio Crocciani and Nicolo Strada arrive full of confidence that they can leave Pontevedra with a medal after strong seasons to date and Mitch Kolkman helped his Netherlands team to sixth place in the Paris test Event Mixed Relay.

A career-best 8th at the Miyazaki World Cup last year, Oscar Dart will lead the line for Australia after a tough race last year, German medal hopes look strong after recent outings from Mixed Relay World Champion Simon Henseleit and Henry Graf, and Panagiotis Bitados goes out for Greece after eye-catching performances at the European Games and more recently the Karlovy Vary World Cup.

The start lists can be found here.

Related Event: 2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals Pontevedra
22 - 24 Sep, 2023 • event pageall results
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