Top athletes on the World Triathlon Cup tour land in Weihai, China, this week for their next race of the season and offers athletes a strong opportunity to make their mark on the World Triathlon race scene, earn valuable points and for some, the chance to have breakthrough performances, at this tier of Elite World Triathlon racing. The 2023 World Triathlon Cup Weihai is on Saturday, 26th August with the men starting from Ocean Bay at 8.30am local time and the women following at 11.15am.
The race destination Weihai is a major seaport in the easternmost Shandong province and lies on the north coast of the Shandong Peninsula, eastern China. Tourists flock to Weihai to enjoy the many attractions, including its stunning beach. It borders Yantai to the west and the Yellow Sea to the east and is the closest Chinese city to South Korea and returns to the World Triathlon calendar after the previous edition in 2019. The new course is challenging and the heat and humidity will be a factor that will test the top World Cup athletes.
Saturday’s World Cup course in Weihai will feature an Olympic-distance course that includes a 1.5km swim over 2 laps in Ocean Bay, followed by an 8-lap bike course across 40km with scenic views of the seaside and includes a technically challenging course with hilly sections and corners to to navigate. Athletes will then be faced with a 10km run portion of the race over 4-laps, before coming down the blue carpet to finish in front of the seaport with the stunning coastal backdrop.
Italy headlines the women’s field with Bianca Seregni and Ilaria Zane at the top of the women’s start list, both women compete across both World Triathlon Cup and World Triathlon Championship Series tiers of racing. Seregni produced outstanding results in 2022 with a bronze medal in the u23 World Championships in Abu Dhabi and podium results in Karlovy Vary and Huatulco World Cups. Seregni is known for her strong swimming form and the Standard-Distance ocean swim format will suit the Italian here in Weihai. Seregni has arrived in form after racing in the 2023 World Triathlon Olympic Games Test Event Paris last week and is ready for the World Cup battles in Weihai.
Seregni said, “I feel good and I’m adjusting to China. It will be a long and hot race and I am here to give my best. I’m excited to start with number 1. First time ever!”
Fellow compatriot Zane is a favourite heading into Saturday’s World Cup and recently placed 12th in the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland and 9th in the 2023 World Triathlon Cup Tiszujvaros.
Slovakia’s Romana Gajdošová secured her career-best performance earlier in August in the World Triathlon Cup Yeongdo and is eager to continue this form into Weihai.
Slovakia is well represented at the race in China with Gajdošová and Ivana Kuriackova. Kuriackova is part of the 2023 Team World Triathlon and won gold in the 2023 2023 Asia Triathlon Cup and Central Asian Championships Samarkand, 12th in the recent World Triathlon Cup Yeongdo and is hunting her first podium at the World Triathlon Cup level.
Yuka Sato is Japan’s top female triathlete heading into Weihai. Sato recorded an impressive top 10 place in the recent World Triathlon Cup Yeongdo and earned silver in the 2023 Asia Triathlon Cup Osaka.
Lisa Perterer has proved she performs well in the heat with podium performances in Cozumel and Huatulco over her career so the conditions in Weihai will suit the experienced Austrian, who will be vying to make it on the podium in China.
Spain’s Anna Godoy Contreras is a well-known athlete on both the World Triathlon Cup and World Triathlon Championship Series race circuits. Godoy was part of Spain’s Mixed Relay team, in last week’s Olympic Test Event in Paris, that crossed the line in 11th. Godoy also competed in the individual women’s Olympic Test Event in Paris.
Hungary’s Márta Kropkó, bronze medallist in the 2023 Krakow-Malopolska European Games, said that her recent race experience in the Olympic Test in Paris was “without a question: most epic race ever” and is more eager than ever to perform at this weekend’s World Cup. Her recent races have been encouraging of her form but the Hungarian is determined to medal at the World Triathlon Cup level.
8 athletes are on the women’s start list to represent China and perform in front of a home crowd.
With Olympic dreams being a key target of athlete schedules in 2023, concentration will be required from the start of the race, leaving podium predictions wide open in Weihai.
2023 World Triathlon Cup Weihai will be streamed in full on TriathlonLive.tv with the Elite men starting at 8.30am local time and the women following at 11.15am.