Canadians Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay are two of the automatic qualifiers for the Collins Cup that will take place on August 28, 2021 in Samorin, Slovakia. The automatic qualifying windwo ended last weekend, with Sanders leading the men’s standings for the international team, while Findlay sits in second. They are joined on the international team by New Zealand’s Teresa Adam and Braden Currie, Australians Sam Appleton, Max Neumann and Carrie Lester, along with South Africa’s Jeanni Metzler. Four more “Captain’s picks” will be named to the teams on Thursday.
Based on the automatic qualifiers it’s pretty apparent that the European team is, well, stacked. The team includes the winners every Kona race since 2015 – three-time Ironman world champion Jan Frodeno, four-time Kona champ Daniela Ryf, defending Kona champ Anne Haug and two-time Kona champion Patrick Lange. In addition to that fearsome foursome, there’s defending 70.3 world champ Gustav Iden, 2016 70.3 world champ Holly Lawrence, Joe Skipper and possibly the hottest star in the sport at present, Lucy Charles-Barclay.
Team USA also includes a group of athletes who are obviously in form including last weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Boulder champ Sam Long and last weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Switzerland winner Rudy Von Berg. The other men on the team include Matt Hanson and Ben Kanute. The American women’s team include Skye Moench, Heather Jackson, Jackie Hering and Chelsea Sodaro.