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Olympic Games Triathlon: Georgia Taylor-Brown and Kate Waugh get British spots for Paris 2024 but Sophie Coldwell misses out AGAIN

"This was an incredibly hard selection process and one that I’m aware brings delight for some athletes but also disappointment for others."

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Team GB have announced that Georgia Taylor-Brown and Kate Waugh will join the already-selected Beth Potter in their team for the Olympics in Paris next month.

Great Britain had qualified the maximum three women but, such is their strength in depth, there were some tricky choices to be made – as there were for the men, where Jonny Brownlee missed out.

Ultimately it appeared to boil down to a two-from-three scenario, with Sophie Coldwell the unlucky one to miss out, just as she did in Tokyo in 2021 when she travelled as a reserve.

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Reigning World Champion Potter, one of the big favourites for gold in Paris, was the only one to lock down her spot thanks to victories at the Test Event and WTCS Championship Final in Pontevedra last year.

Taylor-Brown had a long spell on the sidelines with a calf injury in 2023, but having proved her fitness and form this season – and with an individual silver to her name from Tokyo, despite a puncture, as well as Mixed Relay gold – she always looked in prime position to get the nod.

Georgia Taylor-Brown wins WTCS Cagliari 2023
Georgia Taylor-Brown wins WTCS Cagliari 2023

But there were also compelling cases for both Waugh and Coldwell.

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Waugh going from strength to strength

The 25-year-old Waugh has had a meteoric rise in the current Olympic qualifying cycle.

She became World Triathlon U23 Champion at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Championship Finals and then last season culminated with her taking second behind Potter in the Grand Final in Pontevedra as well as being crowned the overall winner at Super League Triathlon.

She’s currently sixth in the World Triathlon rankings and 12th in the Olympic standings – and this will be her first Olympics.

Kate Waugh WTCS Grand Finals Pontevedra 2023
Kate Waugh of Great Britain finishes second in the WTCS Grand Finals Pontevedra 2023 (Photo – Wagner Araujo, World Triathlon).
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Heartbreak again for Coldwell

But Coldwell, four years her senior, has made impressive progress herself in the same timeframe.

She helped England to Mixed Team Relay gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, won her first WTCS event in Yokohama in 2023 and stands at number eight, four spots above Waugh, in the Olympic rankings.

British Triathlon had said they would give added weight to the latest WTCS race in Cagliari last month and Coldwell finished seventh there, with Waugh in 10th (and GTB sixth).

All three of Taylor-Brown, Waugh and Coldwell readily ticked the ‘realistic individual medal contender’ criteria, outlined in British Triathlon’s selection policy via proven, top-tier results.

But it’s Coldwell who misses out.

British Triathlon Performance Director and Team GB Triathlon Lead, Mike Cavendish, explained: “Throughout the process, realistic potential for winning medals was at the fore, and it’s with this in mind we welcome Georgia, Kate and Sam [Dickinson, who got the final men’s spot] to join the already announced Beth Potter and Alex Yee.

“This was an incredibly hard selection process and one that I’m aware brings delight for some athletes but also disappointment for others. The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of our sport and I know just how much it will mean to the five who will compete in Paris this summer.”

An emotional Sophie Coldwell wins WTCS Yokohama 2023 photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes
Sophie Coldwell [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Tommy Zaferes]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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