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American’s Look to Continue Five Year Dominance


The American women have enjoyed a dominance at the ITU New Plymouth World Triathlon like few other nations, with Kirsten Kasper in 2018 the most recent of four athletes over five years to take line honours wearing the stars and stripes.

In fact, since the event returned to New Plymouth in 2014, no other nation has seen their flag raised highest position on the podium, with Katie Zafares (2014, ‘17), Kaitlin Donner (2015) and the unbeatable Gwen Jorgensen (2016) all tasting victory at Ngamotu Beach along with Kasper last year.

The class of 2019 might have their work cut out though, with just two American’s in the line-up on Sunday 31st march. Renee Tomlin is one to already have raced well here though, finishing with the silver medal in 2015. Tamara Gorman is her only countrywoman up against a quality field of internationals and locals, with 30 nations represented in New Plymouth across the weekend. Both bring good form after finishing second and seventh respectively at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup a fortnight ago.

Leading the local charge is Nicole van der Kaay, the 23-year-old finished runner up to Kasper last year and would love a breakthrough first World Cup win on home soil and brings great form with a sixth place at the Oceania Sprint Championship in Tasmania at the start of March.

“I love racing home events, you have the whole New Zealand crowd cheering you on and the atmosphere is awesome in New Plymouth. I would love to get down there more for training, there are beautiful areas to ride and the beach – it is just a gorgeous place.

“The course is my kind of course too, there are some tight corners and sharp hills, it is pretty technical, I am looking forward to it. I thrive on the harder races, I like to push it and see what we can do with the other girls.

“New Plymouth was the first time I cracked a World Cup podium, it really is a special place for me.”

For the New Zealanders this is also very much a race that marks the start on their potential road to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“We have had a few smaller races and are coming more into the season with each week. Anywhere from this point we are trying to map towards the ultimate goal and do all the right things and manage all the travel with the demands of racing.”

Another regular visitor and always one to be respected is Barbara Riveros, now 31, the Chilean has long supported races in New Zealand and showed with 9th in Mooloolaba that she is approaching her best form.

Sophie Corbidge (New Zealand) continues her return to the top level of the sport after also going top ten in Mooloolaba and will relish the chance to race at home, as will all the Kiwis with Deb Lynch, Ainsley Thorpe, and Kiri Atkin also in the line-up.

Fans will get to see the best in the world up close and personal at absolutely no charge, with spectator entry to free for all to the Ngamotu Beach event, with the Mellowpuff Tri-Fest Charity Fun Run held in between elite women’s and men’s races on the Sunday, with 50% of the $10 entry fee donated to local charity Mellowpuff Trust. All entrants in the Fun Run/Walk are in the draw to win a brand new Slumberzone Bed from House of Beds in Taranaki.

For the full Elite Women’s field in New Plymouth, CLICK HERE

Taranaki Triathlon Festival Schedule
All events at Ngamotu Beach

Tuesday 26 March, 8am to 1pm
Sanitarium Weet-bix Kids Tryathlon, 7 – 15 years age categories

Thursday 28 March, 3pm to 7pm
Athlete Registration, WIL Sport NZ Schools Tri Champs

Friday 29 March
10am WIL Sport NZ Schools Tri Champs,
3pm WIL Sport NZ Schools T1T2 Relay

Saturday 30 March
8am WIL Sport NZ Schools Tag Team Relays
12pm WIL Sport NZ Schools Prize giving

Sunday 31 March
10:45am Elite Women, New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
12pm Fun Run for Mellowpuff
1:15pm Elite Men, New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup
2:30pm Medal Presentations

© Scoop Media

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