After a huge win in Tokyo at the Olympic Test Event, Canadian Tyler Mislawchuk will enter this weekend’s ITU Grand Final in Lausanne wearing race number 12. While the 25-year-old isn’t in a position to take the overall WTS title, he certainly could be in the mix for the win in Switzerland. Mislawchuk will be joined in the elite men’s field by Matthew Sharpe and Alexis Lepage.
Heading into the final WTS race of the year France’s Vincent Luis is the man with the best chance of taking the overall title, which would end Spain’s Mario Mola’s run of world titles at three. The only way Mola can take the title is if he wins on Saturday and Luis finishes lower than fifth. Five-time WTS world champion Javier Gomez also has an outside chance at another world title, but he has to win, Luis has to finish less than eighth and Mola has to finish third.
Yeah, it’s hard for us to keep track of, too. That’s all for the overall WTS title – the race for the win on Saturday includes lots more potential winners. In addition to those after the world title, and Mislawchuk, of course, there are names like Jonathan Brownlee, Kristian Blummenfelt and Henri Schoeman to add to the list of potential contenders.
Brown only Canadian woman in the elite race
Thanks to a third-place finish in Bermuda, and some consistent performances at other WTS races, Joanna Brown will wear race number eight as she hits the start line on Saturday. The 27-year-old will look to bounce back from a tough day in Tokyo, where she finished 27th.
American Katie Zaferes leads the women’s WTS standings by a huge margin, so a 12th-place finish or better will give her the WTS title. Zaferes led the standings last year heading into the Grand Final, too, only to lose the world title on the run as Great Britain’s Vicky Holland took second to beat the American in the overall standings. This year Zaferes dominated the early part of the WTS series with four wins and a runner up finish, but then crashed in Hamburg and at the Olympic test event in Tokyo.
Holland isn’t in the picture for the overall title this year, but her countrywomen Jessica Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Non Stanford all sit in the top five of the standings. (One would imagine Learmonth and Taylor-Brown, who were DQ’d after trying to tie for first in Tokyo, will be just a little motivated to be at the front on Saturday.)
The American team lists a number of potential contenders in addition to Zaferes – Taylor Spivey sits sixth in the overall standings while Summer Rappaport, fresh of her Olympic qualifying race in Tokyo, sits in sixth.