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World champion Mario Mola eyes third crown in Abu Dhabi

65-strong men’s elite field features eight of the world’s top-10 ranked superstars

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The star-studded ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will also feature 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series World Champion and 2016 WTS Abu Dhabi winner, Mario Mola.

Mola will be looking for his third title here at the capital course going up against two-time Olympic champion, Alistair Brownlee making his WTS Abu Dhabi debut.

The pair are joined by more world-class competition, with the likes of Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt, South African Richard Murray and Spaniard Fernando Alarza — all ranked in the ITU’s top five set to compete. The eye-catching line-up also features crowd favourites, including Vincent Luis, who was victorious in the ITU World Triathlon Series 2017 Grand-Final in Rotterdam, Henri Schoeman, also a former ITU World Triathlon Grand-Final winner and Jonathan Brownlee, the two-time Olympic medallist.

“Abu Dhabi is the one date that really stands out in my calendar,” said Mola.

“It’s the season opener and the opportunity for triathletes to kick-start their season with a win on what is becoming one of the most exciting races on the WTS circuit. Last year was a real challenge for me with the new course on Yas Island and the competition was extremely high.

“But I’m hoping for a better result this year as I go for my third title in Abu Dhabi. I’m familiar with the course and want to put on an amazing show for all the fantastic spectators that come out to show their support. The quality of triathletes competing this year is truly world-class, you just have to look at those who will be standing side-by-side on the start line and it already fills me with huge amounts of excitement. I can’t wait to get started!,” added Mola asserting that he competed in a lot of WTS events over the past year and have always given his 100 per cent.

“I have tried to be as competitive as possible, as shown with my result in Leeds last year. It is a tough field in Abu Dhabi, but I expect to be in the mix at the end of the race.”

The world-class line up for WTS Abu Dhabi 2018 men’s elite field have recorded a combined total of 282 wins on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit and shared more than 700 podium places between them — delivering the strongest WTS Abu Dhabi line-up in the history of the event.

“We are thrilled to announce the most spectacular elite line up the WTS Abu Dhabi has ever seen. Triathlon’s biggest names, including the full Rio 2016 Olympic podium will compete on Yas Island on March 2 on one of the most unique courses on the series. Final preparations are underway for the event, where we expect to see a record number of participants take part and thousands of spectators coming to show their support for family, friends and their triathlon heroes,” said Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), host of the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.


Juan Martin Del Potro holds the championship trophy after defeating Roger Federer (not pictured) in the men's finals in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.