INDEPENDENT NEWS

Napier Welcomes Strong Women’s Field To Open The 2024 World Cup Season

Published: Fri 23 Feb 2024 10:58 AM
Gina Sereno and Xinyu Lin headline race start list in New Zealand
A new World Triathlon Cup season begins with the 2024 World Triathlon Cup Napier, a coastal city of New Zealand’s North Island. While New Zealand is well known for staging triathlon races, this will be the inaugural World Triathlon Cup for Napier. The race schedule is stacked across Saturday 24th and Sunday 25 February.
Saturday will host the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships Napier and the 2024 World Triathlon Cup Napier with the world’s best athletes racing in an all-important Olympic qualification window for Paris 2024. Sunday will stage the Age-Group races, Oceania Junior Mixed Relay and the 2024 World Triathlon Mixed Relay. The 2024 World Triathlon Cup is a sprint-distance triathlon (750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run) and will start along the iconic stretch of the waterfront in Napier called Perfume Point. The 2024 event will be integrated into a Triathlon Festival featuring the New Zealand Sprint Distance Championships. It’s time for athletes to test out how the pre-season build has gone and show off form, as the world’s best fire up to battle it out in a sprint-distance format, the first World Cup race of 2024.
The Elite women will race on Saturday from 4pm local time and the men will line-up from 6pm, all watchable on the platform TriathlonLive.tv (live and on-demand) and in New Zealand live on TVNZ +ELITE WOMEN
The contenders
USA’s Gina Sereno headlines the 40-deep women’s field in the opening World Triathlon Cup race of 2024 in Napier. Sereno claimed impressive silvers in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Vina del Mar in November and the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games. China’s Xinyu Lin produced a string of fantastic results to close out the 2023 season including silver in the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games, 4th place in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Chengdu, 5th place in World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki and 2nd in the 2023 Asia Triathlon Sprint Championships Al-Khobar. Lin lines up in Napier as one of the favourites in the sprint-distance race. Hungary’s Zsanett Kuttor-Bragmayer and Australia’s Natalie Van Coevorden are highly experienced on the World Triathlon Championship Series and World Triathlon Cup scene and are ready to battle it out in Napier, with their sights fixed on qualifying in 2024 for the Olympic Games in Paris. Napier is within the qualification period, providing a valuable race opportunity for athletes to collect points.
Young guns to watch
Italy’s Ilaria Zane earned the gold medal last weekend in the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Wanaka (New Zealand) and performed incredibly well last season claiming bronze medals in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Weihai and 2023 World Triathlon Cup Weihai, both standard-distance races. Competition will be fierce in Napier with the likes of Australia’s Sophie Linn, Spain’s Cecilia Santamaria Surroca, Great Britain’s Olivia Mathias and Ecuador’s Elizabeth Bravo all lining up to test where form is at the start of 2024 for the opening World Cup of the season.
Team World Triathlon
Bermuda’s Erica Hawley is a member of Team World Triathlon and continues to show progress each season. Hawley had a standout 2023 season, securing her first World Triathlon Cup medal in Yeongdo, South Korea, among other top 10 finishes. If the talented young star from Bermuda can maintain a strong position up front, she could have a real chance at running her way to a medal finish or her first World Cup victory. Team World Triathlon members Maria Carolina Velasquez (COL) and Zuzana Michalivkova (CZE) will join Hawley on the start line in Napier, eager to produce dominant performances in a crucial Olympic year. Velasquez Soto earned silver in the 2023 Santiago Pan America Games women’s race and Michalickova came 4th in last weekend’s 2024 Oceania Triathlon Cup Wanaka.
A wealth of race experience
Belgian star Valerie Barthelemy will be another to watch on Saturday. After having to withdraw from last weekend’s Oceania Cup in Wanaka due to illness, Barthelemy is looking to start the season with a strong race result. Hungary’s Olympian Zsofia Kovacs delivered strong performances at the end of last year with 8th place in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Chengdu and 6th place in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong and will have her sights set on a top 10 finish in Napier after a strong pre-season build.
Team New Zealand
New Zealand will be strongly represented with Ainsley Thorpe, Brea Roderick, Olivia Thornbury, Eva Goodisson, Olivia Cummings, Hannah Howell and Amara Rae.
Review the full 2024 World Triathlon Cup Start List - Elite WomenELITE MEN:Hayden Wilde ready to soar in World Cup season opener in New Zealand
A new World Triathlon Cup season begins with the 2024 World Triathlon Cup Napier, a coastal city of New Zealand’s North Island. While New Zealand is well known for staging triathlon races, this will be the inaugural World Triathlon Cup for Napier. The race schedule is stacked across Saturday 24th and Sunday 25 February. Saturday will host the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships Napier and the 2024 World Triathlon Cup Napier with the world’s best athletes racing in an all-important Olympic qualification window for Paris 2024. Sunday will stage the Age-Group races, Oceania Junior Mixed Relay and the 2024 World Triathlon Mixed Relay. The 2024 World Triathlon Cup is a sprint-distance triathlon (750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run) and will start along the iconic stretch of the waterfront in Napier called Perfume Point. The 2024 event will be integrated into a Triathlon Festival featuring the New Zealand Sprint Distance Championships. It’s time for athletes to test out how the pre-season build has gone and show off form, as the world’s best fire up to battle it out in a sprint-distance format, the first World Cup race of 2024. The Elite women will race on Saturday from 4pm local time and the men will line-up from 6pm, all watchable on the platform TriathlonLive.tv (live and on-demand).
The Wilde favourite
New Zealand’s Olympic medallist and ranked number two in the world Hayden Wilde will take centre stage and wear number one in Saturday’s World Cup season opener in Napier, New Zealand. Wilde is a firm favourite to not only claim victory in the first World Cup of the season but to qualify in 2024 to represent New Zealand in the next Olympic Games in Paris.
Young guns ready to fire
Wilde will be joined by Portugal’s Ricardo Batista, a sprint-distance specialist and known for his gutsy performances right to the end. In the 2023 World Triathlon Cup in New Zealand, staged in New Plymouth, silver and bronze medals came down to the wire in one of the most thrilling sprint finished between Batista and New Zealand’s Tayler Reid, where the Portuguese athlete had to settle for third place. Batista earned the silver medal in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong at the end of last season followed by 5th place in the World Cup in Miyazaki, after serving a penalty. The Portuguese athlete will be highly motivated to sprint for a medal in Napier this weekend. Reid will also prove fierce competition come Saturday’s sprint-distance World Cup.
New Zealand’s rising star Dylan McCullough, who earned his first World Cup medal in 2023 in the World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki, showed off fantastic form last weekend claiming the silver in the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Cup in Wanaka. McCullough is eager to line up in Napier and produce a result which will assist his Olympic campaign to Paris in 2024.
Olympic dreams on the line
Hungary’s Olympian Gabor Faldum is an experienced triathlete who is motivated towards representing at another Olympic Games this summer. Faldum secured a top 10 finish in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup in Chengdu, proving his strength up against some of the world’s best rising stars of the sport.
Australia’s Commonwealth Games representative Luke Willian and rising star Brandon Copeland will be eager to test early season form in Napier on Saturday. Both men have stated their intent to qualify and represent Australia in the next Olympic Games in Australia. Napier provides a strong opportunity to earn valuable Olympic points. Willian crossed the line in 7th place in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Chengdu and Copeland was 9th in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup in Tongyeong and 6th place in the World Cup in Miyazaki to close the season.
The British troops ready for a showdown
A strong contingent of British talent will start the World Cup season in Napier, featuring Daniel Dixon, Samuel Dickinson, Hugo Milner and Ben Dijkstra. Milner showed incredible talent at the end of 2023 when he showcased the best race of his career resulting in victory in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Miyazaki.
One to watch
Spain’s Genis Grauhayden could also be among the contenders to watch on Saturday. Grau brought home his first World Cup gold medal in the 2022 World Triathlon Cup Huatulco and 4th place in the 2023 World Cup in Mexico, both in sprint-distance race formats. Norway’s Casper Stornes
Review the start list: 2024 World Triathlon Cup Napier - Elite Men and follow the action live and on-demand over on TriathlonLive.tv on Saturday 24th February with the men lining up at 6pm local time.

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