All athletes have their favourite courses and for Emma Moffatt, Hamburg and Yokohama continue to ring true for the former two-time ITU World Champion and two-time Olympian.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist will take her place in Saturday’s third round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in the Japan’s second largest city outside the capital and 2020 Olympic host city Tokyo.
And it is fitting that the opening race in the 2016 Olympic qualification period for Rio de Janeiro is Saturday’s WTS round in Yokohama.
â€œThat fact had escaped meâ€¦but it doesn’t take long for the next Olympic period to role around and knowing that fact adds even more importance to Saturday’s race,â€ said Moffatt, who flew into Yokohama yesterday from Brisbane, via Cairns.
â€œIt is important to get amongst the points for Rio early so Australia can qualify our three places for the next Olympics.
â€œI hope it’s hot and humid â€“ that would certainly suit me over a flat course where I have had a podium finish every time I’ve been here.
â€œIt reminds me very much of Hamburg and that is one of my favourite races.â€
Moffatt, pre-selected for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, would love nothing better than to keep her podium places in tact but also knows that every race on the WTS circuit attracts a red hot field.
Joining her fellow Australians, Olympic and recently announced Glasgow team mate Emma Jackson and 2012 Under 23 ITU World Champion Charlotte McShane, will be Great Britain’s world ranked number one Jodie Stimpson and the USA’s ever-present Gwen Jorgensen, the defending Yokohama champion, who has already unleashed her amazing run legs this season.
Moffatt is currently sitting in sixth on the overall rankings after Auckland and Capetown with Jackson in eighth, the only two Australians in the top ten.
About the race:
TheÂ ITU World Triathlon Series returns to Yokohama for the fifth time. The series first appeared in Japan in 2009. The Japanese portal city skipped the 2010 series, but it reappeared on the WTS calendar in 2011. Due to the devastating earthquake, the event was postponed to later that year with ranking points counting towards to the 2012 season.
Click here for women’s start list
Click here for men’s start list
Live video coverage fromÂ Yokohama will be available on race day atÂ triathlonlive.tvÂ or at@triathlonliveÂ on Twitter.
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TOTAL PRIZE MONEY:
$180,000 USDÂ (equal for men & women)
Swim (1500m) -Â Two-laps for aÂ 1500m swim in the sea near Osambashi pier.
Bike (40km) – Five, 8km laps that begin and end inÂ Yamashita park.The bike snakes around the giant Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris Wheel and Yokohama’s waterfront.
Run (10km) -Â Four 2.5km lapsÂ around the Kanagawa Prefectural Government Building
STORIES TO WATCH FOR: Â
The podium returns
All of the 2013 Yokohama medallists will return to their spot of glory this year for another shot at important points towards the Threadneedle rankings. Last yearÂ Gwen Jorgensen
Â (USA) collected her second consecutive career WTS win with her signature fiery run across the flat course. Behind her,Emma Moffatt
Â (AUS) andÂ Jodie Stimpson
Â (GBR) gutted it out over the blue carpetÂ with a smiling Moffatt just edging out the Brit.
The Gomez vs Brownlees facts
In the last 20 times that Javier Gomez and Alistair Brownlee have met at WTS races, Alistair has won on 15 of those occasions. But that was then and this is now. Gomez is not waiting to make a move in the Threadneedle rankings, having destroyed the competition, including younger Brownlee brother Jonathan, in the last two WTS events. But as we saw last year in San Diego when Alistair charged away from the competition for the win, missing the first few races of the season has no impact on his ability to win.
PREVIOUS YOKOHAMA WINNERS
WOMENÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â MEN
2013Â Â Â Â Â Â Gwen Jorgensen (USA)Â Â Â Â Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
2012Â Â Â Â Â Â Lisa Norden (SWE)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Joao Silva (POR)
2011Â Â Â Â Â Â Andrea Hewitt (NZL)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Joao Silva (POR)
2009Â Â Â Â Â Â Lisa Norden (SWE)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Jan Frodeno (GER)
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