The World Triathlon Cup circuit was back with a bang in 2022, some familiar and not-so-familiar names and venues lighting up the calendar from May to November. Nine races in total, two exciting debut courses and 430 athletes from 54 countries competing both for the prestige of the podiums and precious Olympic points.
It all added up to another exciting year for those athletes looking to establish themselves on the world stage and test themselves against some of the best on the planet while taking crucial steps towards realising their Olympic dreams.
Debut courses, established favourites
The season began in Arzachena, on the Italian island of Sardinia, moved on to Huatulco, Mexico, and then the Spanish city of Pontevedra, where the 2023 Championship Finals will crown the next World Champions in September.
The circuit made its way to Norway for the first time in August, when thousands lined the streets of Bergen to watch local heroes Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden in action, and it was back to Spain and Valencia at the start of September.
From there it was on to the classic Czech hill course in Karlovy Vary, then Asia for Tongyeong, South Korea and the first races in the Japanese city of Miyazaki since 2019, before closing out with another World Cup first, this time for Chile, as Vina del Mar hosted on the course that will host the 2023 Pan American Games.
Resurgent McElroy hits the heights
Through the nine men’s races, 27 medals were shared among 24 athletes from 14 nations, with Spain the most successful team in 2022, winning three golds and three silver medals.
With one medal of each colour - gold in Tongyeong, silver in Karlovy Vary and bronze in Valencia, the USA’s Matthew McElroy was the most successful male, Brazil’s Manoel Messias the only other athlete to podium on more than one occasion, with a brilliant gold in Valencia and silver in Arzachena.
Lightening Dodet strikes twice
In the women’s races, 21 athletes also from 14 nations shared the medals, with France the most successful NF after winning four golds and three bronze medals, followed by Germany with two golds and two silvers.
A pair of gold medals - in Vina del Mar and Arzachena - plus a bronze in Pontevedra made Sandra Dodet of France the most successful woman on the 2022 World Cup circuit. Lisa Tertsch (GER), Bianca Seregni (ITA) and Leonie Periault (FRA) all hit the podium on two occasions.
In terms of overall numbers of athletes appearing in World Cups across 2022, Mexico showed the greatest strength in depth, with 30 different athletes competing across the season. Spain had the next highest representation with 26 athletes, then the USA with 24 men and women hitting the start lines.
The 2023 season gets underway in New Zealand on 25-26 March, when New Plymouth returns as host following the country’s pandemic-enforced hiatus from international competition. Don’t forget you can watch highlights of all this year’s action on the World Triathlon YouTube channel and watch the full races on demand on TriathlonLive.tv.