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Tokyo gold medalist Flora Duffy highlights WTCS Montreal field, while Kretz returns as hometown hero

Montreal International Triathlon features "Eliminator" format

Photo by: World Triathlon/ Wagner Araujo

Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, fresh off a stellar gold-medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics, will highlight the women’s field at this weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series Montreal. Canada’s lone entrant in the women’s race will be hometown hero, Amelie Kretz, who took 15th in Tokyo, while Jeremy Briand will be the lone Canadian male in the field.

Related: Montreal International Triathlon gears up for post-Olympic racing

Eliminator format

When it comes to the format, the Montreal race promises to be exciting because it will feature a new format for the World Championship Triathlon Series – the Eliminator. The race takes place across two days on a super-sprint course that includes a 300 m swim, 7.2 km bike and a 2 km run. There will be two qualifying races on Friday, with the top 10 from each race automatically moving to the final. The athletes who don’t make the cut have a chance to compete in a repechage to earn a spot in the final.

In the final the top 30 will race three super sprint races. At the end of the first race the last 10 will be eliminated, with ten more being dropped after the second race. The last 10 then race for the medals in the third super-sprint effort.

On the Sunday there will also be a Mixed Team Relay event.

Amelie Kretz prepares for the ITU World Triathlon Edmonton

Women’s qualifying

Duffy will be the woman to watch in heat one tomorrow, but she’ll have some fierce competition in the form of mixed team relay silver medalists Katie Zaferes and Taylor Knibb. Kretz will be another to watch in the first heat, along with France’s Leonie Periault (bronze in the mixed team relay) and Great Britain’s Non Stanford.

The second qualification race includes a couple of athletes who will be hungry after being just edged out of an Olympic performance including Great Britain’s Sophie Coldwell and American Taylor Spivey. Germany’s Laura Lindemann was with the lead group on the bike in Tokyo and had one of the day’s fastest mixed team relay legs, so she’ll be another to keep an eye on.

You can check out the full women’s start list here.

Men’s qualifying

The first heat of men’s qualifying features defending world champion Vincent Luis (FRA) taking on Belgium’s Marten van Riel and New Zealand’s Tayler Reid. Another man to keep an eye on in the first heat is American Kevin McDowell, who was also part of America’s silver-medal winning mixed relay team in Tokyo.

The second heat will see New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde compete with some other notable sprint-distance athletes like Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle and Frances Leo Berger and Dorian Coninx. Belgium’s Jelle Geens will no-doubt be keen to have a good individual race after being forced to sit out of the Games because of a positive COVID test. 

You can see the full men’s start list here.

Watch all the action from this weekend’s qualifying on TriathlonLive.tv beginning at 11:30 EST.