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:
- Sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
- Olympic: 1,500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
- Maxi: 1,500m swim, 80km bike, 20km run
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.