Abu Dhabi Triathlon 2019: when, where, who is competing and how to watch on TV
The two-day event takes place at Yas Marina on March 8-9
The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2019 is the opening leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series and takes place at Yas Marina this weekend.
The two-day event is on March 8-9 and will bring together 110 elite triathletes vying for a slice of the US$200,000 (Dh735,000) and over 2,500 amateur competitors.
This year’s event is also set to become the most inclusive in history, with athletes participating in next month’s Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 also taking part.
Celebrating its fifth year, the Abu Dhabi Triathlon will also for the first time stage a mixed team relay.
Here is a lowdown of all you need to know about this year's event.
When and where
The World Triathlon Abu Dhabi takes place on Friday and Saturday at Yas Marina.
Friday, March 8
- Junior races (morning)
- Age Group Super Sprint race (7am)
- Special Olympics World Games triathlon race (10am)
- Men’s (2.06pm) and Women’s (4.06pm) elite individual races
- Family 1km Fun Run (3.30pm)
Saturday, March 9
- Age Group Olympic race (7am)
- Elite Mixed Relay race (12.06pm)
- Age Group Sprint race (2pm)
Who is competing?
The men’s race has drawn 19 of the top 20 triathletes in the world rankings. Henri Schoeman, the defending champion from South Africa, and the world champion Mario Mola of Spain lead the elite field.
Others to watch are Australian Jacob Birtwhistle (2018 Bronze ITU WTS medallist) Vincent Luis (2015 Bronze and 2018 Silver ITU WTS medallist) and Britain's Alex Yee, who won the 2019 Discovery Triathlon World Cup in Cape Town.
Leading the women’s field is Britain's world champion Vicky Holland, world No 2 Katie Zaferes of the United States and eight-time world champion Flora Duffy.
Duffy, of Bermuda, is a two-time ITU World Champion, two-time ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion, and a four-time XTERRA World Champion, as well as a Commonwealth Games Gold medallist.
A new addition to this year's event
Added to this year's schedule is the Mixed Relay World Series, which takes place on Saturday (starting at 12.06pm). The mixed relay has drawn 22 teams, including previous world champions France, United States, Australia, Germany and the BritainK.
The mixed relay will make its Olympic Games debut at Tokyo 2020 and qualifying points will be on offer in Abu Dhabi. Teams consist of four athletes (two men, two women) who must complete a cycle of 300-metre swim, 6.6-kilometre bike ride and 1km run.
What the organisers say
Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, says: “As an Olympic qualifying year, the Abu Dhabi event has drawn a world-class field. I look forward to cheering not only the 110 elite athletes but also the 2,500 amateur athletes racing in their personal Olympic Games.”
Can I watch the triathlon on TV?
Yes! Live coverage from both days will be broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports TV.
Remaining races of the ITU World Triathlon Series:
Bermuda: April 27-28.
Yokohama: May 18-19.
Leeds: June 8-9.
Nottingham: June 15.
Montreal: June 28-29.
Hamburg: July 6-7.
Edmonton: July 20-21.
Lausanne: Grand Final - August 29 September 1.
For more information go to www.abudhabi.triathlon.org.
Updated: March 5, 2019 01:45 PM