The Triathlon Mixed Relay is back after its blockbuster Olympic debut and ready to take to the streets of Montreal for the very first time on Sunday, with ten teams of four – two men, two women – set to do battle across super-sprint distance races.
Hailed as one of the revelations of Tokyo 2020, the triathlon world knew very well what fireworks were to come when the Games unveiled the format on the biggest stage, and will once again be able to watch some of the very best – albeit minus Olympic Champions Great Britain – get back on the podium hunt in Quebec.
After the 300m swim, the bike course consists of two fast, flat loops of 3.3 km as the athletes wind through the historic streets of Montreal’s Old Town, returning to transition on the Grand Quai on each loop. The 1.9km run course is made up of 2 laps of 950m and follows the same route as the bike from the Grand Quai to de la Commune St, only coming through transition for the final lap and tag on the pier.
With final line-ups not confirmed until Sunday morning, only a couple of places look nailed on. New Zealand’s familiar faces of Hayden Wilde, Nicole Van Der Kaay, Tayler Reid and Ainsley Thorpe likely to reunite once again after their Olympic outing, while Lisa Berger, Alissa Konig, Adrien Briffod and Sylvain Fridelance will go for Switzerland. Hosts Canada are set to announce who will join the individual duo of Amelie Kretz and Jeremy Briand as possible starters after the untimely injury to Tyler Mislawchuk in Tokyo.
Elsewhere, a combination of form and fitness from Saturday’s intense super sprint schedule plus the first building blocks towards Paris 2024 plans will dictate the teams for the likes of France, Australia and USA. All three teams have plenty of options from the individual races, the USA’s including three of their four Olympic silver medallists: Katie Zaferes, Kevin McDowell and Taylor Knibb. Seth Rider, Kirsten Kasper and Taylor Spivey could also feature.
Leonie Periault was in great form in Tokyo and may be joined by Audrey Merle or Jeanne Lehair for France, while their three Olympic men Vincent Luis, Leo Bergere and Dorian Coninx are all in contention along with Tom Richard.
Australia will want to stamp their authority back on the format too, and have plenty of firepower to call upon including Olympians Jacob Birtwhistle, Aaron Royle and Matthew Hauser, as well as Brandon Copeland. Six women could join them, with Jaz Hedgeland the sole female member of their Tokyo 2020 delegation in Canada.
The German team is once again full of options with four men and four women available and only Justus Nieschlag missing from the Olympic team that took sixth place at the Games. Team Italy looked so strong at the qualification event in Lisbon, and Gianluca Pozzatti and Alessandro Fabian are set to start, with the likes of Alice Betto, Angelica Olmo and Verena Steinhauser all in Montreal and raring to go for the azzurri.
Japan boasts a squad of six women and three men to choose between including Olympian Niina Kishimoto and the experienced Juri Ide, while the Czech Republic look set to start with Jan Volar, Radim Grebik, Tereza Zimovjanova and Alzbeta Hruskova.