Athletes Looking for Final Tune-up Before London Olympic Qualifying Event
July 14, 2011 (Colorado Springs, CO) – Five of the United States’ top Olympic-distance triathletes will be in action this weekend at the fourth stop of the 2011 ITU World Championship Series in Hamburg, Germany.
For Beijing Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (Maynard, Mass.), Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Jillian Petersen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) this weekend’s event will be the final tune-up before racing in the Aug. 6-7 London WCS event, which will serve as the first qualifier for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team.
The men’s event will begin at 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, followed by the women at 9:20 a.m. EDT Sunday. A live webcast of both races is available on triathlonlive.tv.
The seven-race WCS is a key proving ground for the United States’ top triathletes aiming for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. In addition to racing for WCS points, athletes also will be looking to earn points toward securing a spot for their country at the 2012 Olympic Triathlon in London.
Mark Fretta (Portland, Ore.) will join Shoemaker, who finished seventh in Hamburg a year ago, in Saturday’s men’s event. Shoemaker was 20th in his last WCS outing in Madrid following a sixth-place finish at the Monterrey ITU World Cup earlier this year. He kicked his season off by winning the USA Triathlon Elite Sprint National Championship in Clermont, Fla., in March. Fretta owns a pair of top-10 Continental Cup finishes this year and was 14th at the Ishigaki World Cup in April. Visit triathlon.org for a complete start list.
Groff, who is coming off the first-ever WCS podium finish by an American woman after taking third in Kitzbühel last month, headlines the start list for the U.S. women Sunday. She enters the race seventh in the WCS rankings after posting seventh and third-place finishes in her last two events. Petersen is 33rd in the WCS rankings and has a top finish of 20th in the series opener in Sydney. Jorgensen will be tackling her second career WCS event. Her top World Cup finish on the year was fifth in Monterrey. Visit triathlon.org for a complete start list.
Additionally, the 2011 Hamburg WCS event will serve as the sole qualifying race for the 2011 Pan American Games in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Oct. 23. The highest-placing eligible American athlete per gender at the Hamburg selection event automatically will qualify for the team provided he/she places among the race’s top 15 finishers. The second highest-placing eligible U.S. athlete also will qualify for the team if the top two Americans place in the race’s top 10 finishers.
Following the selection event, the highest-ranked American athlete on the ITU Olympic Qualification List who has not already qualified for the Pan Am Games team will earn a spot provided he/she is ranked in the top 50 of the list. Any remaining spots would be filled by discretionary selection. A maximum of three men and three women can represent the U.S. in the Pan Am Games.
Highlights of this year’s World Championship Series schedule include the first qualifier for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in London on Aug. 6-7 and the Grand Final on the 2008 Olympic course in Beijing on Sept. 10-11.