The ITU World Cup season continues with its annual pilgrimage to Hungary this weekend for the iconic Tiszaujvaros World Cup. Last year saw the introduction of an exciting sprint semi final and final structure and this unique race format has been maintained for the 2013 event. The total number of race entries will decide the number of semi finals and this year sees two women’s semi-finals and four men’s. A fixed number of athletes from each semi final will qualify for the final and there will be additional places for the fastest times.
Elite Women’s Preview
Semi Final 1
Aileen Reid (IRL) will wear the number one race jersey in the opening semi final. The Irish star has produced a string of steady performances in the 2013 World Triathlon Series, finishing between 8th and 17th in six races.
Reid will battle with Ai Ueda (JPN), who comes into this event in fine form after winning the 2013 World Games title in Cali a few weeks ago. Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR) is another athlete in fine form, winning the ITU Sprint European Cup in Tartu last month and following that up with second place in Istanbul last week.
Australia’s athletes enjoyed a lot of success in this format last year and Natalie Van Coevorden and Tamsyn Moana-Veale will be confident of progression to the final, as will Great Britain’s Katie Hewison.
Semi Final 2
Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) leads the charge in the second semi final. The Italian has performed brilliantly in previous races in Tiszaujvaros, finishing third last year in the new format and coming second in 2011.
Charlotte McShane (AUS) comfortably made last year’s final, finishing second in her semi final before just missing out on a podium in the final. Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) is another athlete in good form following her victory in Geneva last month and Eszter Dudas (HUN) will be keen to do well on home soil.
A number of the younger athletes such as Kaidi Kivioja (EST), Monika Orazem (SLO) and Sofie Hooghe (BEL) are racing at the elite level and it will be interesting to see how they perform with this race format.
The top 14 athletes in each semi final will qualify for the final with another two places awarded to the next two best times.
Team ITU will also be in action this weekend, with Militzia Riós La Luz (PUR), Melissa Riós La Luz (PUR), Tea Milos (CRO) and Monika Orazem (SLO) competing in the women’s race. The athletes will be coached by Luc Morin of Canada, as well as Hungary’s own Dr. Zsolt Szakály.
The 2013 Tiszaujavros ITU World Cup gets underway when the first elite women’s semi-final starts at 1:30pm (local time) on Saturday 10 August. Semi-finals will start in waves every 20 minutes, followed by the first men’s heat at 4.10pm. The finals will follow on Sunday 15 July with the women’s at 3:45pm followed by the men’s final at 5.00pm.