Triathlon is set to take over this week with two ITU World Triathlon Series races taking place, both of which offer free live spectating opportunities and will feature live on the BBC. Thursday is the turn of Nottingham to host the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay followed by Sunday’s individual races at the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds, featuring many of the best triathletes in the world.
This Thursday 7 June, the world’s leading triathlon nations take to the River Trent to start the first Mixed Relay in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification window. Great Britain has a very strong team, featuring two Olympic medal winners, Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland along with former ITU world champion Non Stanford and ITU World Triathlon Series podium finisher, Tom Bishop.
The start list features 19 teams, including all of the strongest triathlon nations in the world. As well as national pride, there are ranking points on offer towards Olympic qualification as Mixed Relay makes its debut in Tokyo.
The mixed relay is set to start at 6:36pm and the action will unfold rapidly with the whole event taking not much more than a very action-packed hour. Grandstand tickets are still available.
Athletes then move to on to Leeds for the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds on Sunday. Both defending champions, Alistair Brownlee and Flora Duffy have withdrawn though injury, so new champions will be crowned, and Jonathan Brownlee hopes that he may be in with a chance.
He commented: “They’re two very big events coming up and I’m looking forward to both of them. Obviously, the mixed team relays are exciting, it’s the start of the Olympic qualification for Tokyo and we want to try win that one.”
He added: “And then in Leeds, it’s super important for me, it’s my home town event and I can’t wait to race there again. I would like to think I’ve got in reasonable enough shape to be competitive and hopefully I can go there and race tactically well and try and win.”
Britain’s women have demonstrated fine form this season with Non Stanford and Vicky Holland both having made Series podiums this season already, and Jess Learmonth having finished second to Duffy at the Commonwealth Games. Without Duffy, the dynamic may change this year, and with home advantage and having raced on this course twice previously, there is every opportunity for Britain’s leading women to shine.
Cllr Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “The stage is set – we’ve got a world class field, and our British team of heroes to cheer on. The course is looking amazing and we’ll have a full grandstand of supporters cheering them on. All we need now is the rest of the city to come out and line the course to cheers the teams home. Look forward to seeing you all on the Victoria Embankment”
Julian Skan, Senior Managing Director at Accenture, said: “With only three days to go until the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham, we couldn’t be more excited to see this event, which we have supported since its inception, truly come to life on Thursday 7 June.
“We wish all teams, whether it be their first triathlon experience or they’re going for gold against the world’s top triathlon squads, the very best of luck”
Andy Salmon, Chief Executive of British Triathlon added: “The start lists for the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham and the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds are some of the most exciting we have seen here in the UK since London 2012. It’s going to be a fantastic platform for our sport and I hope we can inspire even more people to take up triathlon after watching the achievements of both amateur and elite participants alike.”
Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham; Thursday 7 June 18:36