Johnny Brownlee will return to Abu Dhabi
Johnny Brownlee will return to Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

A stunning line-up of the world’s best triathletes has been announced for the World Championship Series Abu Dhabi presented by Daman, which this year will also see the inclusion of the World Triathlon Para Championships hosted in the city for the very first time.

The elite athlete field is made up of 232 elite athletes, including six of the world’s top 10 men’s triathletes, seven of the top 10 best women, as well as an array of Paralympic stars. In total, more than 2,000 athletes are expected to take part in the glittering event.

Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said; “We are very pleased with the prestigious position that the Abu Dhabi World Triathlon Championship is held in regard by the world’s elite athletes.

“The event has attracted the world’s best triathletes to participate in Abu Dhabi and as we welcome them, it will be yet another world-class athlete field, delighting not only fans in the grandstands but also millions more watching from around the world.

“Hosting this event fills us with pride every year and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back for what will be another incredible weekend of action and entertainment.

“The athlete field is made up of some of the sport’s finest athletes, many of whom are at their very peak following their participation in the recent Olympic Games in Japan. This is an opportunity for fans to watch the world’s best in our own backyard, and we have little doubt that their return will see our local community inspired once again.”

The men’s line-up includes German Tim Hellwig, the current world No. 1, Paul Georgenthum from France, and Hayden Wilde, Olympic bronze medallist, will be one-to-watch. Currently in fantastic race form, Wilde has been racing across Europe since his Olympic performance and will be gunning for the top spot here in Abu Dhabi.

“I feel like I’ve had an incredible preparation period for Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait to get there,” said Wilde. “The Olympic medal in Tokyo was a dream come true for me. But the work doesn’t stop there. I’ve more focused than ever, and I’m excited by what’s to come this season. It’s another strong line-up in Abu Dhabi, but hopefully I can produce something special.”

Another star on his way to Abu Dhabi is Olympic gold, silver and bronze medallist, and fan-favourite, Johnny Brownlee from Great Britain, along with Belgian duo Gelle Jeens and Marten van Riel.

The region will also be well represented with Abdulrahman Mubarak, Omar Ali and Mohammad Mubarak from Bahrain taking on the world’s best in the elite men’s field.

Ironman 70.3 World Champ Lucy Charles Barclay is racing in the UAE
Ironman 70.3 World Champ Lucy Charles Barclay is racing in the UAE Image Credit: Supplied

In the women’s event, Bermuda-born Flora Duffy is returning to Abu Dhabi. She was Bermuda’s first ever Olympic gold medallist and is a three-time world champion (2016, 2017 and 2021). She will be battling a fierce British team, with Olympic medallists Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jessica Learmonth and Vicky Holland on the line. She also has Ironman 70.3 World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay to contend with.

German Laura Lindemann, who is currently leading the series after winning her first ever World Series event in Hamburg, will be on the start line, while Summer Rappaport will be leading the Americans.

The hosting of the World Triathlon Para Championships will also see an impressive line-up of competitors, including Tokyo 2020 Paralympics gold stars Jetze Plat (PTWC), Susana Rodriguez (PTVI) and Alexis Hanquinquant (PTS4). Taking on Plat in the Elite Para field will be Emirati athlete Abdulla Alghafri from Al Ain.

The PTS4 men will see 16 competitors, one of the largest start lists ever in the sport, including the full Tokyo podium of Alexis Hanquinquat, Hideki Uda and Sanchez Palomero. This field also includes Sebastian Engwald from Denmark, who lives and trains in the UAE.

There will be 13 women competing in the PTVI class, including Tokyo gold medallist Susana Rodriguez. The Spaniard was on the cover of Time magazine for her role as a doctor during the pandemic while also preparing for the Paralympics.

Alongside the elite races, there are also race categories for 3,000 amateur and junior triathletes, who have the unique chance to race on a similar course and on the same weekend as the world’s best.

The World Championship Series Abu Dhabi will mark the second stop of the World Triathlon Championship Series in 2022, a season that will finish in style with Abu Dhabi hosting the best triathletes in the world in November 2022 for the World Triathlon Championship Finals.