By Doug Gray on 31/10/19 at 2:52 am
Stop number sixteen of the 2019 ITU World Cup season sees the athletes descend on the Peruvian capital of Lima this weekend for a South American coastal sprint-distance race.
One of the key legacy events from the Pan-American Games held in the city at the end of July, triathlon returns to Playa Agua Dulce beach on Sunday morning with Olympic points and strong finishes to the season on the line for two stacked line ups with some serious Major Games pedigree between them.
Watch the racing on TriathlonLIVE.tv with the women out at 9am PET / 3pm CET, the men at 11am PET / 5pm CET
Ai Ueda arrives in Lima on a hot streak of success, birthday gold a week ago in Miyazaki following silver in Tongyeong as she puts together another trademark strong final flourish to her season.
As well as the race number one, Japan will have no fewer than three other athletes in the top 10 on the start line, Yuka Sato, Juri Ide and Niina Kishimoto all vying for those precious slots on the team for their home Olympic Games next year. The youngest of the four, Kishimoto has enjoyed consistently solid results in her first season on the circuit, finally breaking into the World Cup top 10 in Weihai.
The familiar names of Barbara Riveros (CHI), Maria Czesnik (POL) and Andrea Hewitt (NZL) will be looking to use all their experience to pull together podium performances, with Hewitt making her very first ITU start of the year. The trio have no fewer than eight Olympic appearances between them and would relish the chance to make it more on this testing sprint-distance course.
Spaniard Xisca Tous will be hoping to build on a brilliant double gold at the World Beach Games in Doha at the start of the month which was followed with European Cup silver in Funchal, underlining her power over the shorter distances. Mengying Zhong has found great success on the Asian Cup circuit in 2019, and China’s experienced Asian Games silver medallist could be set to build on her 16th place in Weihai.
Also in the top five in Funchal and looking to take that form on to Lima will be Ukraine’s Yuliya Yelistratova and Quinty Schoens of the Netherlands. Mexico’s Cecilia Perez left Lima with two Pan-American Games bronze medals in July, and will have the opportunity to go even better on a course she now knows well.
Among the members of the ASICS World Development Team tackling the penultimate World Cup of the year are Diana Castillo (COL), Leslie Amat Alvarez (CUB), Romina Biagioli (ARG), Antoanela Manac (ROU) and Marion Kim Mangrobang (PHI), all looking to give their Tokyo 2020 credentials a timely boost.
For the full women’s line up click here
The winner of his second Pan-American Games individual gold here was Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales, and he returns to the site of that success three months ago off the back of another convincing top-10 finish in Tongyeong a fortnight ago, alongside teammates Rodrigo Gonzalez and Irving Perez.
Standing in their way and wearing the men’s number one this weekend will be USA’s Morgan Pearson. Currently the third-highest American in the Olympic rankings and hungry to collect more precious qualification points, Pearson grabbed silver in Huatulco back in June and, as one of the strongest runners in the field, will be confident he can go one better if he finds himself among the leaders out of T2.
Manoel Messias has had a 2019 of highs and lows, but two undoubted peaks came in Lima when he took the tape to win Brazil the Pan-American Mixed Relay gold, having already secured himself the individual silver.
Kevin McDowell has also put in some stirring displays across the World Cup circuit this year. Third in Cagliari and more recently Tongyeong, fourth in both Weihai and Madrid, the American will want to produce a tactically sharp race to end a positive 2019 on a high. New Zealand’s Ryan Sissons continues to chart his path back to the kind of fitness and performance levels that saw him a regular on the podiums in 2017. A good run of results starting in Peru could help catapult him back into Olympic-berth contention in time for Tokyo.
Jorik Van Egdom may have seen his promising podium challenge fade in Karlovy Vary, but that seventh place finish and some rapid Mixed Relay legs in 2019 may be enough to give the former U23 World Champion the encouragement he needs for a big season finale.
Israel’s Ran Sagiv also hit form again in Karlovy Vary, before going on to grab an emotional bronze in the U23 World Championships and top-ten finishes in Weihai and Tongyeong. Austria’s Lukas Hollaus, Roberto Sanchez Mantecon (ESP) and Felix Duchampt – currently in the process of switching flags from France to Romania – are also likely to feature strongly.
Matthew Wright returns to Lima after the Bermudians tenth-placed finish at the Pan-American Games, while Japan’s Jumpei Furuya, Hungary’s Tamas Toth and Canada’s Alexis Lepage will all have their eyes firmly on leaving Lima with a medal.
For the full men’s line up click here