White on Startline in WTS Abu Dhabi

Russell Leeds 2016 1

The World Triathlon Series (WTS) season begins this Friday in Abu Dhabi, and Ireland's Russell White will be there. Coming from a super 2017 season, we caught up with Russell last week to hear about how training in Arizona is going, getting selected for the Commonwealth Games and his first race of the season - Abu Dhabi. You can read the full article here.

The ITU have produced the following preview ahead of Friday's race. TI will be keeping you updated on Russell's race over our social channels, you can check there for updates.

Russell White Baku

Top ranked athletes to kick off the WTS season with a
sprint race in Abu Dhabi

The world-class field is set to tackle a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run on Friday, March 2, to kick off the 2018 season in WTS Abu Dhabi. A season that will feature stops in Bermuda, Yokohama, Leeds, Hamburg, Edmonton and Montreal to finish in September at the Grand Final in the Gold Coast. And a season, which will also mark the start of the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the qualifying period starting in May 2018.

ITU Logo

women's preview

Wearing the golden number one in WTS Abu Dhabi will be double World Champion Flora Duffy (BER). After a stunning 2017 season that saw her on top of the WTS podium in six out of nine races, the Bermudian superstar is looking forward to make her debut on the iconic Yas Island course.

She will have some very strong contenders in Abu Dhabi, though. Starting with the winner of 2017 WTS Abu Dhabi, kiwi Andrea Hewitt, whose furious and emotional sprint a few meters before crossing the finish line was one of the most memorable moments of the past season. Hewitt, followed her 2017 Abu Dhabi win with another first place in WTS Gold Coast.

Last year World Championship runner-up, Aussie Ashleigh Gentle, will also start 2018 in Abu Dhabi, the perfect scenario for her to get ready not only for the season, but also for the Commonwealth Games, set to start in the Gold Coast in April. With a proven record of being one of the strongest runners in the field, she will surely find herself among the leading pack when it comes to the final kilometres of running.

Carrying the USA flag will be compatriots currently ranked third and fourth in the world, Katie Zaferes and Kirsten Kasper .

Men's Preview

The star-studded line-up will feature double World Champion and 2016 WTS Abu Dhabi winner, Mario Mola, facing his first race of the season the way he likes. With a fast and furious sprint race.

One of his most direct rivals will be, indeed, British two-time Olympic medallist Jonathan Brownlee, who returns to the WTS competition after finishing last season in sixth place in a year that finished way better then how it started for the younger brother of the Leeds’ superstar.

Mola and Jonny Brownlee will be joined by more world-class competition, with the likes of Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt, who was one of the ITU breakout stars after finishing in third place in the overall ranking and the South African Richard Murray, who just started his season in a stunning way claiming victory in the first World Cup of the 2018 season in Cape Town.