Strength in breadth of British women in the World Triathlon Championship Series

08 March, 2022

Strength in breadth of British women in the World Triathlon Championship Series

At AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds, seven British women lined up on the pontoon and all seven crossed the finish line in the top-25, with two podium places and four top-ten finishes.

Jess Learmonth and Sophie Coldwell both stood on the podium in second and third respectively having been at the front throughout the race. The pair gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, as did Lucy Charles-Barclay who finished fifth on her World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) debut.

Crossing the line not far behind was Beth Potter, who secured her highest WTCS finish in seventh. Potter followed this up with back-to-back World Triathlon Cup victories in October.

Competing amongst an experienced field of British, including 2013 World Champion Non Stanford who finished 17th, and international athletes, Sian Rainsley (13th) and Olivia Mathias (25th) also both made their WTCS debuts in Leeds last year before going on to podium in other events across the rest of 2021.

Having finished second out of the British women in Leeds last year, Coldwell said of the strength of the female triathletes in the country: “They say success breeds success and I think that’s true of our programme.

“We’ve got success from juniors up to seniors and across short and long course racing. Once you’re in that set up, you just want to be a part of that and the bar’s always rising.”

Currently in the Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship Rankings, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Rainsley, Coldwell and Learmonth all occupy top-ten spots following the races at the end of last year that count towards the 2022 rankings.

The two events that are included in the 2022 rankings took place in Hamburg and Abu Dhabi, with the second of those two seeing an incredible eight-strong line-up of British women.

“I love being a part of it, I’m proud to be British, and proud to be one of those women that gets to race.” Coldwell added.

Similarly to Leeds, each one of them crossed the line in the top-25. Silver and bronze for Taylor-Brown and Coldwell respectively helped Britain to dominate the top ten alongside Learmonth (4th), Potter (7th), Stanford (8th) and Vicky Holland (10th).

These six raced alongside IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion from 2021 Charles-Barclay (12th) and Rainsley (24th) who had finished fifth in Hamburg in the previous race.

Rainsley was the highest placed Brit in Germany, with Kate Waugh finishing nineth on her WTCS debut and Mathias crossing the line in 12th.

These ten British women are all ranked inside the top 30 in the current Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship Rankings, marking Britain’s strength in breadth of elite female talent.

Having picked up triathlon when she was eight, when asked about what she’d say to young girls wanting to get into triathlon, Coldwell said: “It’s one of those things that you just need to bite the bullet and do it.

“Now it’s grown so much and there are more opportunities, more clubs and more events for kids to do and once you get involved in it and see how amazing it is you can progress.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re elite or not, there’s opportunities for everyone and I hope that people can love it as much as I do and do get involved.”