TRIATHLON Preview: Mola & Zaferes looking for World Series titles in Gold Coast

The International Triathlon Union picked a perfectly-named venue for the World Series Final of the 2018 season as someone is going to win the series at Gold Coast, Australia. So here are the contenders and points standings:

∙ Men:
1. 4,925 Mario Mola (ESP)
2. 4,101 Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS)
3. 3,810 Vincent Luis (FRA)
4. 3,722 Richard Murray (RSA)
5. 3,021 Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)

∙ Women:
1. 4,418 Katie Zaferes (USA)
2. 4,384 Vicky Holland (GBR)
3. 3,459 Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR)
4. 3,237 Jessica Learmonth (GBR)
5. 3,098 Rachel Klamer (NED)

Neither Mola nor Zaferes have to win their races, thanks to the point-scoring system: 1,200-1,100-1,027-950-879-813-752-695-643-595-550-509 for the top 12. Mola will win the title by finishing 15th or higher, but Zaferes has two jobs: (1) finish 20th or higher to eliminate everyone other than Britain’s Vicky Holland and (2) finish ahead of Holland.

Mola has been on the seasonal medal stand in each of the last five years, winning bronze in 2013, silver in 2014 and 2015 and winning the last two years.

Zaferes was the series bronze medalist last year; the last American to win the series was Gwen Jorgensen, who won in 2014 and 2015.

The Southport Broadwater Parklands course will host the standard Olympic distance of 1,500 m swim (two laps), 40 km bike phase (eight laps) and 10 km run (four laps). The women’s race will be on Saturday and the men’s race on Sunday.

The prize money is bumped up for the Grand Final, awarding $30,000-22,000-16,000-12,000-9,800 to the top five in each race and on down to $1,000 for places 21-25. The overall winner of the series will receive a bonus payment of $83,500, followed by smaller bonuses of $57,300-39,200-26,150-21,250 for the top five and on down to $2,250 for 35th.

Look for results here.