SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A world-class elite field featuring nearly 50 competitors from last summer’s Olympic Games — including the men’s gold and silver medalists — is slated to race at this weekend’s Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego on Friday and Saturday in Mission Beach, Calif.
One of just eight International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series events around the globe in 2013, the second edition of the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego welcomes an Olympic-caliber group of athletes competing on a historic course adjacent to the birthplace of the sport.
The women’s elite race is set for 3:30 p.m. Pacific Friday, followed by the men at 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free for spectators, and the races will be televised live on the Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com.
Full event schedule and spectator information event is available online at sandiego.triathlon.org.
The action kicks off with the elite women’s event Friday, headlined by Germany’s Anne Haug, who already owns wins at this year’s Mooloolaba ITU World Cup and the ITU World Triathlon Series season opener in Auckland. Haug was seventh last year in San Diego.
U.S. Olympians Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), who was fourth in London, and Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), who owns two career runner-up finishes in ITU World Triathlon Series action, headline seven American women on the start list.
Australia’s Felicity Abram enters the San Diego event fresh off a third-place finish in Auckland. New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt, who finished third in the series rankings a year ago, and Chile’s Barbara Riveros Diaz also are athletes to watch.
Saturday’s men’s event will feature the first meeting between Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee and Spain’s Javier Gomez since they took gold and silver, respectively, at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Gomez is coming off a win in Auckland earlier this month, while Brownlee will make his 2013 season debut.
Matt Chrabot (Virginia Beach, Va.), Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), who have combined to win the last four USA Triathlon Elite National Championships, highlight the seven American men slated to compete.
Switzerland’s Sven Riederer and South Africa’s Richard Murray return to San Diego after placing second and third at the 2012 event.
The elite races will take place adjacent to the site of world’s first ever triathlon in 1974 over a two-lap swim course (1,500m) in Bonita Cove, an eight-lap bike course (40k) focused on Mission Bay Drive and a three-lap run course (10k) on Oceanfront Walk and Bayfront Walk surrounding Mission Boulevard.
The winners of the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego will claim a $20,000 prize purse, and the event’s top 20 men and top 20 women will earn prize money.
In addition to the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego prize purse, the top U.S. finishers can claim their share of a $10,000 USA Triathlon Elite National Championships purse with $5,000 split among the top three male and top three female finishers. The top American male and female to cross the finish line will be crowned elite national champion.
Scheduled for an 8:25 a.m. start Saturday is the first Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) World Paratriathlon San Diego, which will feature more than 50 of the world’s top paratriathletes, including the likes of three-time world champion Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.), competing on a 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run course.
Interest in paratriathlon is at an all-time high, and the sport continues to grow following a December 2010 announcement that it will debut at the Paralympic Summer Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to the elite and paratriathlon races, the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego features top-flight Olympic- and sprint-distance age-group races, as well as an Olympic-distance relay and an aquabike event, offering amateurs the chance to compete in the same epic venue as the world’s best athletes. The 2013 Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego also serves as the USA Triathlon Club National Championships.
Age-group action will begin at 6:30 a.m. Saturday with the Olympic-distance (1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run), aquabike and relay events. The sprint-distance race (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) is set for 8:45 a.m.
As of early this week, more than 1,800 athletes are registered for the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego age-group races. They represent 41 U.S. states (and Washington, D.C.) and 15 countries, including the U.S. The competitors range in age from 13 to 81 years old. Visit sandiego.triathlon.org for complete event information.