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WTCS Finals Edmonton Preview (Women): Flora set for tenth world title

Flora Duffy looks hot favourite to add even more records to her sporting C.V. on Saturday at WTCS Edmonton 2021, the Championship Finals

Chief Correspondent
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Who is going to take silver and bronze on the 2021 World Triathlon championship podium? That is likely to be the jeopardy element of Saturday’s World Triathlon Championship Finals Edmonton, where Bermuda’s greatest ever athlete, Flora Duffy, starts with a huge points lead in the WCTS Rankings.

She seems to be free of any Olympic hangover too – literal, or figurative – having already won in Cananda, post-Tokyo, last weekend. No reason to expect her to let off the gas, until Edmonton is in the record books.

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Current Points Standings

Here are the top positions in the Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship Rankings:

  1. Flora Duffy (BER) – 2791
  2. Taylor Spivey (USA) – 2324
  3. Maya Kingma (NED) – 2315
  4. Taylor Knibb (USA) – 2236
  5. Sophie Coldwell (GBR) – 2159

The other British starters are Non Stanford (10th – 1409), Sian Rainsley (22nd – 784), Beth Potter (30th – 626) and Vicky Holland (40th – 392).

Olivia Mathias, Sophie Alden, Sophie Green and Kate Waugh will be racing in the U23 World Championship event.

In Edmonton, the winner will earn 1250 points, with points then reduced by 7.5% for every position. Championship Finals points will simply be added to points already earned, so there is no further small print to consider regarding number of races completed, dropping a previous race, adding a new one etc.

Flora Duffy set to make it ten

With such a big points lead (467), Flora Duffy will become, barring accident or illness, World Triathlon champion for the third time. As the Olympic champion, winner last week in Montreal and fourth in Leeds, she is the class of the field – and surely one of the best Olympic distance athletes ever in the women’s racing.

With five XTERRA and two ITU Cross world titles already, Edmonton should see a third World Triathlon championship victory bring that total to ten.

With Gold at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games too – legend status and the pride of Bermuda. For the benefit of the sport, let’s hope there’s no bad luck impacting Flora this weekend.

Flora Duffy Olympic Triathlon Gold Tokyo 2020
Flora Duffy with the gold medal after winning the Olympic Games women’s triathlon at Tokyo 2020.

It would also end a trend (which I highlighted in my men’s preview), of Olympic triathlon champions not winning the World Triathlon championship in the same season. Duffy, certainly and Blummenfelt, probably, start as favourites to achieve that in Canada.

How to Watch

Here is the schedule of events, which all take place on Saturday (21st August 2021)

  • 0800 local time – U23 Women World Championship1500 UK-time
  • 1050 local time – Elite Women1750 UK-time
  • 1350 local time – Elite Men2050 UK-time
  • 1630 local time – U23 Men World Championship2330 UK-time

All of the races will be available to watch through World Triathlon’s subscription service, TriathlonLive.tv.

You can also watch the Elite finals on the BBC Red Button / connected TV / BBC website.

Edmonton history

Emma Jackson (AUS) was the last winner in Edmonton (2019), when the WTS race was held over the sprint distance. Based on her racing last week in Montreal, that won’t be repeated over twice the distance this weekend.

ITU World Triathlon Edmonton 2019
Emma Jackson topped the 2019 podium

Summer Rappaport (Summer Cook at the time), was second that day, and she also won at the venue (sprint distance again), in 2016 in those memorable (!) arctic-style conditions.

WTS Edmonton preview 2017
Edmonton 2016 – Photo by Wagner Araujo / ITU Media

Vicky Holland won in 2018 – her World Championship year – and in 2015 too, with Flora Duffy lead home Knibb, Zaferes and Rappaport in 2017.

World Triathlon Series Edmonton 2018
Edmonton 2018

You have to go all the way back to 2014 when Edmonton hosted the Grand Final to find the race held over the 1.5k/40k/10k format. Gwen Jorgensen won, while Katie Zaferes (ninth), is the highest placed female finisher from that day who will be racing this year.

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John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

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