The Women’s WTS Yokohama race is set this Saturday May 17. As the first race of Olympic qualification period ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, Yokohama is a particularly significant race in this year’s World Triathlon Series. It is the first race in which athletes can gain important points towards selection for a berth in Rio. Canadians Sarah-Anne Brault, Joanna Brown and Kirsten Sweetland will be on the start line.
Sweetland tweeted her excitement for race day this morning, “Only 1 sleep to go before round 3 of the World Series!” Brault’s outstanding fourth place finish in Auckland will certainly be a confidence booster for this weekend. Sweetland appeared ready for her comeback with her seventh place in Cape Town. Brown too looks ready to race hard.
The flat course is technical and sharp corners will keep athletes on their toes. All of the 2013 Yokohama medallists will return this year for another shot at important points towards the Threadneedle rankings. Last year Gwen Jorgensen (USA) collected her second consecutive career WTS win with her blazing run. Behind her, Emma Moffatt (AUS) and Jodie Stimpson (GBR) came down to a sprint finish.
Jorgensen made up a two-minute deficit on the run in Cape Town for bronze, proving she’s roaring to go. Moffatt will need to stay up front to stay in contention, but with the likes of Helen Jenkins (GBR) and Anne Haug (GER) not starting, the race is open.