After putting together the TRI247 choices for the Captain’s Picks at the inaugural Collins Cup on Wednesday night, the formal announcement came on Thursday – and here are the official selections:
Team USA: Katie Zaferes, Taylor Knibb, Chris Leiferman, Justin Metzler
Team Internationals: Ellie Salthourse, Sarah Crowley, Jackson Laundry, Kyle Smith
Team Europe: Kat Matthews, Emma Pallant-Browne, Sebastian Kienle, Daniel Bækkegård
Captain’s Picks highlights
- Team USA have, as I hoped, gone all-in by picking middle distance novices Taylor Knibb and Katie Zaferes. Nice work – and kudos to both Knibb and Zaferes for taking up the challenge.
- No Flora Duffy in Team Internationals. That was always a ‘hope’ of mine personally, but glad to see that Ellie Salthouse has been recognised for her 2021 results.
- British cheers. No Nicola Spirig in Team Europe (which I’d assumed), means that Emma Pallant-Browne and Kat Matthews join a European women’s squad which has FOUR British athletes. Some strength. Daniela Ryf and Anne Haug making up the numbers (!), alongside Lucy Charles-Barclay and Holly Lawrence, in an incredibly strong team.
- British disappointment too. It was always going to be the toughest selection, but George Goodwin – IRONMAN 70.3 European Champion – misses out, with Sebastian Kienle and Daniel Bækkegård taking the final two places. Given his performance at Challenge Daytona too, that’s a tough one.
More reaction soon, but here is the formal news revealed in the last few minutes.
PTO Collins Cup Captain’s Picks
Team US Captains, Mark Allen and Karen Symers, confirmed that Katie Zaferes, Taylor Knibb, Chris Leiferman and Justin Metzler will join the eight US athletes who have already automatically qualified.
Team International Captains, Lisa Bentley and Simon Whitfield have selected Ellie Salthouse, Sarah Crowley, Jackson Laundry and Kyle Smith to join Team Internationals.
Team Europe Captains, Natascha Badmann and Normann Stadler have decided on Brits Kat Matthews and Emma Pallant-Browne, Germany’s Sebastian Kienle and rising Danish star Daniel Bækkegård to join the already qualified stellar Team Europe line-up that includes PTO World No.1s Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf.
Olympic silver medallist Katie Zaferes said, “I am grateful to have been awarded a Captain’s Pick. It is great that the professionals have their own organisation and now, a flagship race. It is an honour to be part of it and for me to be competing alongside my fellow Americans as part of Team US in The Collin Cup. Whilst beating the competition is the goal, the professional camaraderie generated as professionals unite to make our sport better is the reason this event is so special.”
On hearing of his selection, German star Sebastien Kienle said, “I am excited to race at The Collins Cup. I have been training and preparing to be in the best shape for this race. I am looking forward to competing against the best in the world and helping Team Europe lift the 2021 Collins Cup.”
Australian Sarah Crowley said, “It is an honour to represent Team Internationals at the 2021 Collins Cup. I’m pleased to have received a Captain’s Pick and it will be awesome to race against all the other top triathletes in the world. Being part of a team will be an added incentive to perform at my best.”