A strong number of European women will be at the start at the Olympic Triathlon with real hopes of claiming gold in Tokyo early next Tuesday but which one will ultimately come out on top? Below some of the major contenders and some of the live outsiders in what should be a fascinating and thrilling race in the Japanese capital.
Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) winner of the 2020 World Triathlon title at the Hamburg event. Georgia comes in Tokyo having not raced much in this last period. Will the lack of racing be an issue?
Nicola Spirig (SUI) she is looks incredibly strong and still strictly in business. The 39 years old Swiss athlete, mother of three, is still one of the absolute best in the sport and a third consecutive Olympic medal is a real possibility.
The Swiss athlete doesn’t follow convention, but her approach of racing over the middle distance as preparation has been proven in previous Olympic cycles. She was in a different league to her opponents again at both Challenge Gran Canaria and the European Middle Distance Championshipsvwon both of those events on her road bike. And has not neglected her speed either with a win at World Cup Lisbon and coming in 4th place at the Super Sprint European Championships in Kitzbuhel.
Jess Learmonth (GBR) is one of the most popular athletes around, also has become one of the most consistent on the circuit and an absolutely integral part of the British mixed relay squad.
Learmonth’s racing tactics are not complex and quite appropriate. She races without fear and has developed into a far stronger runner than most realise. Those weeks in between Leeds and Tokyo will be key to getting that run fitness back to its best and, we hope shed id to achieve the best result of her career here in Tokyo.
Vicky Holland (GBR) Can the Rio 2016 bronze medallist match or surpass her performance in Brazil five years ago? She certainly has the potential to do so, but her absence from the WTCS Leeds event with a tweaked calf does mean that she’ll be lighter than planned in terms of racing heading into Tokyo. On the positive side, her swim was right on the money in Lisbon, something that she will be well aware could be crucial in Japan. If she can execute that element of the race to her very best, she can be right in contention as she proved at the 2019 Test Event. There, even though the run was a shortened 5km, she set the quickest time of the race.
Maya Kingma (NED) she is clearly the most-improved athlete of 2021. After third in Yokohama and victory in Leeds, Maya has proven she can very good on the run. We will see if weather hot conditions can be a problem for her. She can definitely get a good chance for a glorious step on the magical Olympic podium.
We will see who will claim the Tokyo’s gold to be a star in the triathon firmament!