The city of Weihai, in the north-eastern corner of China, will set the scene for the 13th stop of the 2019 World Cup tour this weekend. The elite men’s and women’s fields include a mix of Olympians, experienced triathletes, Olympic hopefuls and emerging talent. Athletes will race across a challenging standard-distance course that begins with two laps in the waters of Halfmoon Bay, followed by a six-lap ride that includes an energy-sapping 2km climb, rounding off with four loops of a fast and flat 2.5km run along the coast.
Elite men’s race preview
Germany’s Jonas Schomburg heads up the elite men’s field in Weihai and has delivered standout performances across the World Triathlon Series and World Cup races this year. Schomburg posted top ten finishes in the Madrid ITU World Cup, ITU World Triathlon Series race in Leeds and in the 2019 Tokyo ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in August. The German triathlete will be looking to continue his form across the season with a dominant performance in China.
Portugal’s Joao Silva and Israel’s Shachar Sagiv are also top-seeded elite men on the start list in Weihai and will challenge Schomburg to a World Cup battle of the best. Both elite men have claimed top ten results across World Cup events this season. Silva was ninth place in the recent race in Banyoles, in one of the most competitive fields the World Cup tour has ever witnessed. Sagiv delivered a notable ninth place in Cape Town, to launch the World Cup race calendar. Sagiv also showcased a bold performance in the Tokyo Olympic Qualification Event, finishing in 13th place in a fight among the world’s best triathletes.
Italy’s Alessandro Fabian came across the line in ninth position in the 2018 Weihai World Cup and will be looking to race his way onto the podium this year. Having posted no fewer than four top ten World Cup finishes in 2018, Fabian will be racing for World Cup success in Weihai.
Australia’s Ryan Bailie will be one to watch on Saturday. After claiming top 5 finishes in both Karlovy Vary ITU Triathlon World Cup and Cagliari ITU Triathlon World Cup this year, the Olympian will be fixed on making a return to a World Cup podium this Saturday.
Matthew Sharpe was eighth across the line in the star-studded Banyoles World Cup and 2019 will see the Canadian race in Weihai for the first time. Sharpe has had a solid season across World Triathlon Series and World Cup races but his aim for Saturday is to put it all on the line and earn a top spot.
Mexico’s Rodrigo Gonzalez returns to racing after injury forced him to withdraw from the 2019 Lima Pan American Games and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland. Gonzalez earned the silver medal in Weihai in 2017, had a standout season in 2018, delivered the gold medal for Mexico in the 2019 CAMTRI Triathlon American Cup and secured 7th place in Huatulco World Cup in June. The Olympian will be eager to strike on Saturday with a strong performance to earn valuable Olympic qualification points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Elite women’s race preview
Wearing number one on Saturday, in the elite women’s race in Weihai, will be Czech Republic’s Vendula Frintova. Reigning champion of Karlovy Vary ITU Triathlon World Cup (2018 and 2019), Frintova has delivered a solid series of results this season, including an impressive 12th place in the World Triathlon Series race in Yokohama earlier this year. In 2018 Frintova crossed the Weihai finish line in sixth position and will be vying for a place on the podium in 2019.
Challenging Frintova on the start line is Japan’s Ai Ueda, an experienced athlete and Olympian with a striking triathlon resume. Ueda started the year with a brilliant performance in Cape Town World Cup, earning the gold medal and went on to win the Nur-Sultan ITU Triathlon World Cup and claim victory in the 2019 ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships.
Australian duo Emma Jackson and Natalie Van Coevorden are marked as firm favourites to succeed in Weihai. Both delivering a season of progression across the circuit. Van Coevordon earned a top ten finish in the World Triathlon Series race in Bermuda as well as a hard-fought fifth place in 2019 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup and Jackson’s standout performance in Edmonton which saw her back on top of a World Triathlon Series podium for the first time in five years.
2018 Weihai World Cup bronze medallist Miriam Casillas from Spain will be a lady to watch on Saturday. Casillas had had a consistent season including 4th place in the testing Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup. The Spaniard is known for her powerful bike leg, if she can exit the swim with the leaders and will want to ensure she remains on the podium in Weihai in 2019.
Weihai World Cup is an official race as part of the ASICS World Triathlon Team where the primary objective of this project is to provide support to athletes from emerging and developing National Federations, with the potential to compete at a World Cup level and to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The ASICS World Triathlon team competing in Weihai, under the guidance of Head Coach and Team Manager Mick Delamotte (AUS), are:
For the first time both races will be streamed in full on TriathlonLIVE.tv so have you pass ready to follow the athletes and races live in Weihai.
Elite men: 8.30am local time
Elite women: 11.15am local time
tagsvendula frintova joao silva emma jackson rodrigo gonzalez zsofia kovacs ryan bailie natalie van coevorden matthew sharpe miriam casillas garcia jonas schomburg