Americans also racing this weekend in Continental Cups in Australia and the U.S.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Triathlon National Team members Sarah True and Katie Zaferes will lead the charge for the United States this weekend as the ITU World Triathlon Series gets underway in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Saturday.
Katie Zaferes (left) and Sarah True are the top-ranked athletes competing in ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi this Saturday. (Delly Carr/ITU)
Athletes competing in ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will complete a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run, with the elite men to begin at 1:06 p.m. local time (4:06 a.m. ET) on Saturday, March 5, and the women to follow at 4:06 p.m. local time (7:06 a.m. ET). Both races will air live on triathlonlive.tv, and season passes are available for purchase. Select races from the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series may also be available to watch on NBC Universal HD, and the schedule is available at universalhd.com. The World Triathlon Series will feature nine races this season culminating with the Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, in September.
True (Hanover, N.H.) has already qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, and she finished third in the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series for a bronze world championships medal. True finished in the top-10 at seven of the WTS events she raced in last season, including podium finishes in Gold Coast, Australia, and London, and a win in Stockholm. Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) finished the 2015 season ranked fifth in the world, having earned silver medals at WTS races in Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Cape Town, London and Stockholm. She was also third in Gold Coast.
Joining True and Zaferes on the start list are Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) and Kaitlin Donner (Satellite Beach, Fla.). Tomlin's best career finish at a WTS event is fourth, which she earned last year in Yokohama, and she won the Chengdu ITU World Cup. Donner is also an ITU World Cup champion, with a win in New Plymouth last season. She looks to improve on her 10th place effort from last year's Abu Dhabi series stop.
Visit WTS.Triathlon.org for a complete women's start list.
Three U.S. men are starting their seasons on Saturday, including 2008 U.S. Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.). Shoemaker had a season's best 12th-place finish at ITU World Triathlon Cape Town and logged two late-season podium finishes at ITU Continental Cup events in Punta Guilarte, Puerto Rico, and Hong Kong after breaking his collarbone in August. Also on the start list are Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) and Jason West (State College, Pa.). Maloy posted two top-10 finishes at ITU World Cups last season and looks to crack the top 10 for the first time in a WTS event this weekend. West is making his WTS debut after winning two ITU Continental Cups last October.
Visit WTS.Triathlon.org for a complete men's start list.
Triathlon fans can feel like part of the action with TRIFECTA, the official triathlon fantasy game of the ITU World Triathlon Series. Registration for TRIFECTA is open now at trifecta.usatriathlon.org and podium picks must be submitted prior to the start of the first race. More details on the game are available at USATriathlon.org.
In addition to the ITU World Triathlon Series beginning in Abu Dhabi, U.S. athletes will also be racing at ITU Continental Cup events in Wollongong, Australia, and Clermont, Florida.
Reigning ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) will begin her 2016 campaign at the Wollongong OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup on March 5 (race time is 10 p.m. ET on March 4). Also competing in that race will be Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) and Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.). More information and complete start lists are available at Triathlon.org.
In Clermont, Florida, 18 U.S. women and 31 U.S. men will be competing at Lake Louisa State Park for the Clermont CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup. Among them will be 2008 U.S. Olympian Sarah Haskins (Clermont, Fla.) and 2015 USA Triathlon Elite National Champion Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.). More event details and complete start lists are available at Triathlon.org.
||About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).