Final World Triathlon Championship Series race of 2021 takes place in Abu Dhabi


Yas Island in Abu Dhabi will host the racing on Friday 5 November, with eight female and three male athletes competing for Great Britain in the UAE.

Pulling on the GB trisuit in the men’s race will be Gordon Benson, Sam Dickinson and Grant Sheldon, with Sian Rainsley, Sophie Coldwell, Non Stanford, Jess Learmonth, Beth Potter, Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Lucy Charles-Barclay racing in the women’s.

This event is the second of the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS), with it and the race in Hamburg seeing points counted as part of the 2022 series as they’re taking place after the 2021 World Triathlon Championship Finals in Edmonton.

Both races will be competed over the sprint distance, with the swim, bike, run all taking place in and around the Yas Marina and Yas Marina Circuit. Following a 750m swim in the marina, the athletes will transition to a five-lap, 20km bike leg on the circuit before ending with a 5km run over two laps.

Potter comes into the race in Abu Dhabi in fine form having won back-to-back World Triathlon Cup gold medals in South Korea in the two weeks before the race. Tokyo Olympians Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jess Learmonth and Vicky Holland are all back on the WTCS start line having missed the event in Hamburg where Rainsley finished fifth.

Benson is the highest placed of the male athletes, listed 11th on the start list. Sheldon has a World Triathlon Cup podium to his name this year having come second in Karlovy Vary in September, whilst this is Dickinson’s first international race since being part of the team that won gold at the 2021 Europe Triathlon Relay Championships in Kitzbühel.

The WTCS action will follow the World Triathlon Para Championships, with the men’s race starting at 14:11 local time (GMT+4) and the women’s race starting at 16:11 (GMT+4).

Both the men’s and women’s races will be available live on BBC Sport through the website, app, iPlayer and Red Button, with coverage starting at 09:55 GMT.

Jess Learmonth, mixed relay gold medallist from Tokyo, said: “It’s my third year here and it’s good, there’s always something happening. The Formula 1 circuit is pretty cool to ride around, it’s short and fast being a sprint and on the track.

“I’m looking forward to the race, but it’s been a long year and I’m also looking forward to a bit of down time afterwards. I started the year injured and not running, so if someone would have said I’d end the year like this I’d have been well happy. I just want to take it all in and reflect back on the season.

“It’s brilliant to be part of such a big group of British women here and others wanting to race who are back in the UK. There’s such depth, it’s ridiculous to think about.”

Grant Sheldon added: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s pretty hot out here, but it’s pretty cool to race on the F1 track and it’ll be fast.

“It’s the final race of the season, so one final hit out. Training since arriving’s been fine, just get your feet in and turn over. Did some heat prep in the week to try and get used to it, so we’ll see how we go on Friday.”


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