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Triathlon top stars Zaferes, Luis gear up to rock Abu Dhabi

Filed on January 27, 2020
Triathlon top stars Zaferes, Luis gear up to rock Abu Dhabi
Katie Zaferes will be looking to defend her Abu Dhabi title. - Supplied photo

These triathlon titans are the first announcements in what is set to be the strongest elite field ever seen in Abu Dhabi, littered with Olympic and world champions.

Triathlon world champions Katie Zaferes and Vincent Luis are among the leading stars who will be seen in action in the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi presented by Daman this coming March.

The list includes nine-time world champion Flora Duffy and New Zealand young gun, Hayden Wilde, according to a press release.

These triathlon titans are the first announcements in what is set to be the strongest elite field ever seen in Abu Dhabi, littered with Olympic and world champions. 110 of the world's best elite triathletes and 70 elite para-triathletes will thrill the crowds at Yas Marina Circuit from March 5-7, jostling for qualification points critical to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics taking place this coming summer.

The current ITU World Champion and defending ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi presented by Daman champion, Katie Zaferes, will be the women's triathlete to beat during the race weekend. Over the course of 2019, she won five of the eight World Triathlon Series races, including victory in the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne. Having represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics, she is also a strong contender for a podium spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Speaking of her stellar 2019 season, Zaferes commented: "2019 was such a special year for me. It's difficult to put into words the feeling of becoming World Champion!  Starting my WTS season with a win in Abu Dhabi fired me up to just keep getting better and better. That's my goal again for Abu Dhabi this March - to start the season positively, especially with the Olympics right around the corner!"

Zaferes also commented on her love for the Emirates: "I actually spent a bit of time in the UAE prior to WTS Abu Dhabi and I loved it! It's a fantastic place to train - great weather, great facilities and a great community - so I'm really excited to come back in March!"

On the men's side, Frenchman Vincent Luis, the current men's world champion, will also be taking part. The thirty-year-old has climbed the podium in Abu Dhabi three-times, so will be setting his sights on the top spot in 2020 as well as a medal in Tokyo.

"I can't wait to get back on the start line in Abu Dhabi - it'll be extra special as I'll be wearing the gold no. 1 race number." Luis commented.

Going head-to-head with Luis is exciting Kiwi triathlete, Hayden Wilde. Double World Champion at under-19 level in XTERRA, Wilde is returning to Abu Dhabi for his second year bringing his world-class bike handling skills to the bike course on Yas Marina Circuit.


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