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WTCS Abu Dhabi 2024: Start time, preview and how to watch live

Great Britain's Beth Potter and Alex Yee will seek back-to-back titles at WTCS Abu Dhabi when they lineup on Friday.

Staff Reporter
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Once again, the World Triathlon Championship Series gets underway at WTCS Abu Dhabi, with the best athletes in short course triathlon kicking off the year in the Middle East.

Leading the start lists are last year’s winners Beth Potter and Alex Yee of Great Britain, who will hope they can not only replicate their victories from last season but also help Team GB to gold in the Mixed Team Relay event.

In our preview piece below, you can find all the information you need on start times, the courses and streaming, plus a preview of who we think can challenge Potter and Yee for the wins.

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Start times and how to watch live

The racing in Abu Dhabi will commence on Friday March 8 at the Yas Marina Circuit, with the athlete village centred around the famous pit lanes of the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

The women’s race will begin at 16:00 local time. This corresponds to 12:00 in the UK, 13:00 in Central Europe and 04:00 for viewers on the West Coast. Two hours later, at 18:00 local time, the men’s race will begin. This corresponds to 14:00 in the UK, 15:00 in Central Europe and 06:00 on the West Coast.

On Saturday March 9, there will be a mixed team relay event, as nation’s battle it out for a chance to race for Olympic glory in Paris this summer. The mixed team relay will begin at 15:00 local time on Saturday, which is 11:00 in the UK, 12:00 in Central Europe and 03:00 on the West Coast.

All the action will be available to watch live via Triathlonlive.tv

The course in Abu Dhabi

One of the factors most synonymous with the race in Abu Dhabi is the fact that the athlete’s get to race on the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, which later this year will also host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Formula One.

WTCS Abu Dhabi Sprint Course
[Credit – World Triathlon]

In the individual race, which is held over the sprint distance, the swim will be a 750m lap of the Marina, before the athletes run roughly 250m to T1. From there, they will complete five laps of 4km on the F1 circuit before running two laps of 2.5km on the track and then heading down the finishing straight.

WTCS Abu Dhabi MTR Course Map.
[Credit – World Triathlon]

In the Mixed Team Relay, each member of the team will swim a 300m point to point route in the Marina before running a short distance to T1. On the bike, they will ride a total of 6.9km before changing into their run shoes in a separate transition area. Finally, each athlete will complete a 1.7km run before tagging in their teammate or finishing on the blue carpet.

WTCS Abu Dhabi 2024 Elite Women

In the women’s race, Potter is joined by a brilliant trio of British stars, including former world champion Georgia Taylor-Brown, who will race for the first time since last summer.

Beth Potter wins WTCS Abu Dhabi 2023 photo credit Tommy Zaferes World Triathlon
[Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon]

Last year’s WTCS Yokohama winner Sophie Coldwell will also be racing, as will Super League Champion Kate Waugh, with all three looking to highlight their Olympic credentials and join Potter on the plane to Paris.

Joining the British quartet on the start list is Cassandre Beaugrand, the French favourite for a gold medal in Paris this summer, plus her compatriot Emma Lombardi, who made her case as a genuine medal contender with some top performances throughout last season.

Team Germany standouts Laura Lindemann and Nina Eim are two more podium contenders in Abu Dhabi, with Lindemann in particular demonstrating at the Paris Test Event in 2023 why she can never be counted out on the biggest stage.

Gwen Jorgensen World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong 2023 finish
[Photo credit: Janos M Schmidt / World Triathlon]

Finally, IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Taylor Knibb leads a stellar American team, which also features 2016 Olympic Champion Gwen Jorgensen. Olympian Summer Rappaport will also race in the UAE.

If it comes down to a run battle, it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top in a race between Jorgensen, Potter and Beaugrand, three of the very best runners in the sport. However, with so much run firepower in the field, expect top swim-bikers like Knibb and Maya Kingma to try and make it hard from the gun.

WTCS Abu Dhabi 2024 Elite Men

On the men’s side, each of last year’s podium finishers, Yee, Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca and Brazilian Manoel Messias return to Abu Dhabi in 2024 looking for more silverware.

Alex Yee WTCS Pontevedra 2023
Alex Yee of Great Britain in action during the WTCS Grand Final in Pontevedra in September 2023 (Photo – World Triathlon).

In addition to those three, Olympic Champion Kristian Blummenfelt will line up for his first race of the year and Olympic bronze medalist Hayden Wilde will be making the trip over from New Zealand.

Elsewhere, Les Blues, who have produced the last two World Champions in Leo Bergere and Dorian Coninx, are sending a fearsome quartet, with Vincent Luis and Tom Richard joining the aforementioned champions.

Will we see a practice run for Paris by the French men? Knowing the strength of Yee and Wilde on the run, it has been widely speculated that they will try to dominate the race this summer in Paris, with a hard swim-bike combo to be expected.

Vincent Luis - WTCS Bermuda 2022
[Photo credit: World Triathlon]

However, with one spot on the team still left to be filled and former World Champions Bergere and Luis desperate for a spot on the start line, we could also end up seeing a free-for-all from the French as they go head-to-head.

If this does happen, the race could follow a similar pattern to previous years, with a run battle off the bike lending itself to the likes of Yee, who pulled away with a flurry of speed in the closing kilometre last year and never looked back.

With so much on the line, it is incredibly hard to call how the race will play out. Regardless of what happens, however, the sprint distance format on a fast and furious course guarantees that both races will be incredibly entertaining.

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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