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2023 TRI247 Triathlon Awards: Female Triathlete of the Year Nominees and Winner

We look at the nominees for the 2023 TRI247 Female Athlete of the Year Award and announce the winner.

Staff Reporter
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In celebration of an incredible year of triathlon racing, we decided to look back on the season and carefully select a handful of winners for our 2023 TRI247 Triathlon Awards.

For our first award, we’re recognising the efforts of the best female racers across all distances, with our ‘Female Triathlete of the Year’ Award, picked from a shortlist of spectacular athletes by our expert panel.

This year, the shortlist was made up of Great Britain’s Beth Potter, Germany’s Anne Haug, Australian Ashleigh Gentle and Taylor Knibb of the United States.

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The Nominees

With so many great female triathletes making their case for this award in 2023, we were left with a near impossible task to narrow it down to a short list of just four athletes, but after some heated debates, we came up with that quartet of Potter, Haug, Gentle and Knibb, whose incredible achievements we’ll look at in depth.

PTO European Open 2023 Ibiza - Anne Haug
[Photo credit: PTO / James Mitchell]

Starting with PTO World #1 Haug, the 40 year old didn’t finish off the podium once this year, as she recorded three wins and three second place finishes, just missing out on the top step at Challenge Roth and the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.

After successfully starting her season with back-to-back wins in Spain at IRONMAN 70.3 Lanzarote and Challenge Gran Canaria, Haug took down Gentle, the ‘Queen’ of the 100km distance, at the first edition of the PTO Tour European Open in Ibiza.

Despite not winning again in 2023 after her victory in Ibiza, Haug continued to excel, finishing second at a string of high profile races, notably notching a podium for the fourth consecutive edition of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.

Next up, Gentle again finished the year behind Haug as PTO World #2 but did manage to turn the tables on her German counterpart after her Ibiza loss, as she won the PTO Tour Asian Open in Singapore.

Remarkably, Gentle finished on the podium at all three of the PTO Tour events in Ibiza, Milwaukee and Singapore this season, with her win at the Asian Open marking her fifth straight PTO Tour podium and third win.

In addition to her PTO Tour success, Gentle picked up an unbelievable tenth title at the iconic Noosa Triathlon, with podiums at IRONMAN 70.3 Andorra and IRONMAN 70.3 Switzerland further consolidating her spot as one of the very best over the middle distance.

Finally, American Knibb followed in the footsteps of versatile Olympic Champion Kristian Blummenfelt and pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible in a single season of triathlon racing, competing in events ranging from the Olympic distance to an Ironman.

After opening up her season with a podium at WTCS Yokohama, Knibb won IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder before finishing sixth at WTCS Montreal, whilst also finding the time to sign on as a professional cyclist with Trek-Segafredo.

Heading into the crux of the season, Knibb pulled off a ‘Golden August’, with a first PTO Tour win on home soil in Milwaukee followed up with qualification to the US Olympic team thanks to a fifth place finish at the Paris Test Event.

Just a week after her Paris exploits, as if all that wasn’t quite enough, Knibb travelled to Finland, where she defended her IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title in style, winning by more than four minutes.

Finally, just to double down on what a tremendous talent she is, Knibb skipped the WTCS Finals in Pontevedra to make her IRONMAN debut in Kona, where at the first time of asking, she finished fourth against a world class field at the IRONMAN World Championship.

Each of Haug, Knibb and Gentle were more than worthy of winning the award, having enjoyed an incredible amount of success in a thrilling season. However, for our panel, one woman stood above the rest after a glittering 12 months.

Our winner – Beth Potter

Having won the WTCS title after securing a phenomenal victory at the Grand Final in Pontevedra and qualified for Team GB at the Paris Olympics, Beth Potter thoroughly deserves the title of ‘Female Triathlete of the Year’.

Beth Potter Montreal win 2023 photo credit World Triathlon
[Photo credit: World Triathlon]

The Scottish star, who finishes the year ranked World #1 after dominating for much of the season, won the first WTCS race of her career in Abu Dhabi and never looked back, picking up three more victories on the road to taking the World Championship title.

With a knack for putting in her best performance when it mattered the most, Potter upset home favourite Cassandre Beaugrand in front of a home crowd at the Paris Test Event, before again denying her French rival the WTCS crown at the final event of the year in Pontevedra.

Having only started triathlon after a disappointing race at the 2016 Olympic Games, where she raced the 10,000m, Potter has had a remarkable rise to the top, as she increasingly looks like the heavy favourite for the gold medal next year in Paris.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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