Seven of the top 10 women in triathlon will lead a pack of 60 women from 19 countries at the World Triathlon Series season opener on March 3 and 4.
The world-class field will go head-to-head on the all-new Yas Island course, making for one of the strongest women’s line-ups to appear at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.
The powerful race bill includes Abu Dhabi’s reigning champion, Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson; 2016 World Champion, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy; World Number three, Japan’s Ai Ueda, USA’s Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True; World Number six, New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt and World Number eight Australia’s Charlotte McShane. The seven women together boast a huge total of 71 wins between them.
Jodie Stimpson, who claimed the ITU Word Triathlon Abu Dhabi women’s title last year, said: “The Abu Dhabi win was one of the highlights of my 2016 season so I can’t wait to return to the UAE and check out the new course. This is a bucket list race for most triathletes so I am lucky to be joining such a strong women’s field on the start line in March.”
Out to challenge Stimpson is 2016 ITU World Champion and three-time Olympian, Flora Duffy, who is intent on starting the 2017 with a win. “I couldn’t ask for more from the Abu Dhabi race – beautiful course, great weather and amazing friends to race with – and hopefully a win of course! I am counting down the days before I’m back on the blue carpet.”
The 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series will be missing Rio gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen this year, who will be taking the year off due to pregnancy. Carrying the USA flag next month will be compatriots Katie Zaferes and Sarah True, both in the top 10 rankings and keen to start the season on a winning note.
Elsewhere Japan’s Ai Ueda, three-time Olympian, is keen to better her 2015 and 2016 Abu Dhabi results. The 33-year-old had a fantastic 2016 season where she took home a total of four gold medals from the World Cup, National Championships and the Asian Championships. Ai, who comes from a family of painters, is looking forward to having her family support her as she takes on the Yas Island course on 3 March.
Olympic silver medallist, Vanessa Fernandes, widely regarded as the most successful woman in triathlon history with 20 World Cup titles to her name, will be another name to watch in the outstanding women’s field. All eyes will be on Fernandes as she makes her highly anticipated triathlon comeback in Abu Dhabi, making for an electrifying women’s race.
In addition to the stunning elite field, the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi has amateur race categories suited to all ages and abilities, and will welcome 3,500 amateur athletes to take part in the two-day event. The race categories, which can be completed as an individual or as part of a relay team, include:
Online registrations for the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi are open to the public via the race website, AbuDhabi.Triathlon.org, and will close on 23 February. Starting from AED 450 for adults and AED 60 for children, race spots are quickly filling-up and organisers are urging those interested to sign-up soon before it reaches capacity.
Australian hitmaker Sia is to bring the curtain down on the 22nd edition of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday March 25, with a 70-minute concert featuring her biggest hits.
The ‘Cheap Thrills’ and ‘Chandelier’ singer, who will be making her first appearance in the UAE, will take to the Apron Views concert stage at around 9.30pm following the $10m Dubai World Cup.
Access to the concert is exclusive to Dubai World Cup ticket holders.
A spokesperson for Sia said: “Sia is thrilled to be performing at the Dubai World Cup at Meydan, being a part of such a prestigious occasion and for her fans to see her show in the UAE for the first time.”
Eight times Grammy nominated Sia is also the recipient of an MTV Video Music Award, multiple ARIA Awards and has released seven studio albums, including her most recent and highly acclaimed, “This Is Acting”.
A prolific songwriter, Sia has penned hits for many other high-profile artists including “Titanium” in collaboration with David Guetta, “Diamonds” with Rihanna, “Wild One” with Flo Rida and “Pretty Hurts” with Beyonce.
As part of the biggest social and sporting event in the UAE calendar, ticket holders will gain access to the nine horse races that make up Dubai World Cup day, the spectacular live show and fireworks display as well as the event-closing Sia concert.
Dubai World Cup tickets cost AED450 for Apron Views until March 19 when they increase to AED600. Numerous hospitality ticket packages are also available.
Please visit store.meydan.ae for more on all Dubai World Cup ticket options.
Ahead of TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife, which will take place on Friday February 17, Yas Marina Circuit and Daman are supporting UAE National Sports Day by providing free access to the iconic F1 track between 4pm–7pm on Thursday February 16.
It gives all TriYAS participants and the local community the perfect chance to run and cycle around the Circuit.
Young sports enthusiasts will also be able to join in a KidsTRI clinic, which will be held at the circuit between 5:30 – 6:30pm and hosted by two professional triathletes competing in TriYAS.
This will be a good opportunity for kids to familiarise with the TriYAS course, and take part in a bike ride with Reudi Wild and Patrick Lange.
Following the UAE National Sports Day event all, TriYAS participants are invited to join the TriYAS pasta party event at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi from 7pm – 9pm.
There are only a few spaces remaining for the event which includes two distances for adults: the Olympic category, with a 1,500-metre swim, 38-kilometre bike race and 10-kilometre run and the shorter Sprint category, involving a 750-metre swim, 22-kilometre bike course and 5-kilometre run.
The event include KidsTRI for children, with three categories available: a 100 or 200-metre swim, six or nine-kilometre cycle and a 1.5 or 2.5-kilometre run. The triathlon also includes a female-only category and a star-studded pro field.
To access the track, participants will need to present their TriYAS registration email or sms, and their Start/Train/GoYAS membership card. Participants will be required to bring their own bikes.
For more information and registration details, visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com.