TRIATHLON Preview: Zaferes looking to start new medal streak in Edmonton Sprint

American triathlon star Katie Zaferes wins in Montreal (Photo: ITU/Wagner Araujo)

It took a major crash during the bike phase to keep American Katie Zaferes off the podium at the last ITU World Series race in Hamburg (GER) and she ended up in 35th place, ending a streak of medals in seven straight World Series races and 11 of the last 12, going back to 2018.

But she still has a handsome lead in the seasonal standings and could clinch her first World Series title this week in Edmonton (CAN), on the familiar Sprint course there: 750 m swim (one lap), a 22 km bike race (5×4.4 km loops) and 5 km run (3×1.67 km loops).

The current standings:

Men:
1. 4,125 Vincent Luis (FRA)
2. 3,687 Javier Gomez Noya (ESP)
3. 3,282 Fernando Alarza (ESP)
4. 3,255 Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS)
5. 2,971 Mario Mola (ESP)

Women:
1. 4,925 Katie Zaferes (USA)
2. 4,170 Jessica Learmonth (GBR)
3. 4,121 Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR)
4. 3,926 Taylor Spivey (USA)
5. 3,435 Non Stanford (GBR)

Scoring in World Series races starts at 1,000 and then goes down for non-Final races to 925-856-791-732 for places 2-5 and down much further. The points available are increased by 25% for the World Series Final, so Zaferes would have to add 495 points to her lead this week; not likely, but possible.

She’s done well in Edmonton, winning bronze medals in 2016 and 2017. Britain’s Vicky Holland, who passed Zaferes for the 2018 World Series title in the Grand Final, won in Edmonton last year, ahead of Ashleigh Gentile (AUS) and Taylor-Brown.

The men’s seasonal race has taken a turn in favor of Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle, who entered the season without ever having won a World Series race … and now has won two of the last three! He’s in fourth place now and one of just five to win two medals this season, along with leader Luis, Mola, new find Jelle Geens (BEL) and Gomez.

Look for results here.