Jonathan Brownlee kicks off his 2017 season this weekend
The year started with a clear objective – to win the ITU World Championship and get over the disappointment of the so near / so far, sporting soap opera that was the Grand Final in Cozumel. Alas, early season injury – which also meant withdrawal from the debut of Super League Triathlon – has not ended, but has certainly made that task more difficult, for Jonathan Brownlee.
While Jonathan has been getting back to health and fitness, his main rivals for the championship – Javier Gomez, Mario Mola, Richard Murray, Fernando Alarza – have all started the year with two strong results in both Abu Dhabi and Gold Coast, to sit at the top of a tightly packed rankings table after two races. With “five plus the Grand Final” to count, his hopes aren’t completely over, but if the top spot truly is his goal for the year, there is now little room for error until the Grand Final in Rotterdam. You really don’t want to miss out on early season points if you can avoid it.
On the positive side, Jonathan has had success in Japan – winning the event in 2013. Ironically, that win came after a return from injury. An omen, perhaps?
World Triathlon Series Standings after Gold Coast (Men)
1st – Javier Gomez (ESP) – 1433
2nd – Richard Murray (RSA) -1326
3rd – Fernando Alarza (ESP) – 1318
4th – Mario Mola (ESP) – 1264
5th – Henri Schoeman (RSA) – 861
Yokohama will also see a strong British entry (four men, five women) for the first time this year in the World Triathlon Series, including Rio 2016 fourth place Non Stanford, who won this past weekend at the Chengdu ITU World Cup. With Jessica Learmonth, Lucy Hall and Sophie Coldwell all starting, we can be confident that the pace will be on in the swim from the first stroke.
While she had planned her season debut last week in China, Vicky Holland was a late withdrawal with a sore calf. Fingers crossed she has better luck this coming weekend.
Full British Elite Entry:
- Tom Bishop
- Adam Bowden
- Jonathan Brownlee
- Gordon Benson
- Sophie Coldwell
- Lucy Hall
- Vicky Holland
- Jessica Learmonth
- Non Stanford