Two-day Tiszy World Cup marks 10th stop on the 2019 calendar

Friday 12 July 2019
The 2019 World Cup circuit makes its familiar pilgrimage to the Hungarian home of multisports, the town of Tiszaujvaros, this weekend for the tenth stop of the year. The ‘Tiszy’ World Cup has cemented its place in the heart of the triathlon calendar, wrapping itself in a week-long festival of sport and culture. With the traditional two-day, Semi-Finals and Finals format across Saturday and Sunday, the top 30 qualifiers will face back-to-back sprint-distance triathlons, making race management a key element of Saturday’s five semis ensuring qualification while keeping enough in the tank for a powerful finish on Sunday afternoon.

As part of ITU’s extended World Cup coverage for 2019, you can watch both Sunday’s Elite finals live and direct from Tiszaujvaros only on TriathlonLIVE.tv with the women’s race at 14.45(CET) and the men’s at 16.15(CET).

Men’s preview
Home favourite Tamas Toth is among the athletes with unfinished business from 2018, when a fierce storm lashed the course midway through the men’s race and forced the referee to abandon proceedings. Also there were brothers Igor Polyanskiy and Dmitry Polyanskiy who have yet to uncork their very best yet this year, and France’s Aurelian Raphael, who makes his first ITU start since the Miyazaki World Cup back in November.

South Africa’s Wian Sullwald has had a busy 2019 and with mixed results as he feels his way back to his very best form, but second place in Nur-Sultan and a top-20 finish at WTS Yokohama have pointed to a man rediscovering his rhythm. Sullwald leads the line in Saturday’s third men’s semi-final, in which Italy’s Delian Stateff, Britain’s Barclay Izzard and Chile’s Diego Moya, flushed from the success of his surprise bronze in Antwerp, will also be among the favourites to qualify.

Eli Hemming (USA) will wear the number one and go out in the first semi ready to prove a point after some bad luck on the big stage so far this year. Alongside him will be Canada’s sole representative in Tiszy, Alexis Lepage, who has been delivering some powerful recent performances as part of the country’s Mixed Relay team in Nottingham and Hamburg, and his bronze in Chengdu over a similar two-day format mean he will be heading to Hungary full of confidence for another podium appearance.

Chilean Felipe Barraza continues to represent the ASICS World Triathlon team this year, finishing just behind Lepage with a solid fourth place in Chengdu, while Australia’s experienced Ryan Fisher pulled out a 15th-place finish at WTS Hamburg last weekend and he will be ready to taste World Cup victory again for the first time since Chengdu in 2015.

Spread across the three start lists, the Luxembourg trio of Gregor Payet, Stefan Zachaus and Bob Haller will all be looking to set themselves up for a shot at the medals on Sunday, and joining Toth in the Hungarian colours in semi-final two will be 2018 Junior World Champion Csongor Lehmann, the latest member of the country’s celebrated Lehmann triathlon dynasty.

Women’s preview
The Elite women were able to complete their final ahead of the men’s washout 12 months ago, with Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) and Ana Godoy Contreras (ESP) the only two from last year’s top 5 taking to the line this time around. Jeffcoat forms part of a 9-strong Australian contingent that also includes such podium potential as race number one Natalie Van Coevorden and Tamsyn Moana-Veale both of whom feature in semi-final one.

Along with Contreras, Miriam Casillas Garcia and Sara Perez Sala are hugely experienced Spaniards who could add to their considerable medal hauls this weekend. By contrast, the new generation of female stars is represented by 2018 Youth Olympic Champion Amber Schlebusch (RSA), the 17-year-old who has just one WOrld Cup appearance so far this year - in Cape Town where she finished 28th - but a Junior African Championship win last month will have been a tonic heading back to the circuit.

A regular in Tiszy is Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer, who’s top ten last year was her best result to date and who would provide a hugely popular place on the podium should she be able to pull out a performance to match that of her bronze-winning display in Cape Town 18 months ago. Likewise Zsofia Kovacs, who has been tantalisingly close to the top three on several occasions and will feel her time has come for a big performance on home soil.

After her fourth place in Cagliari in May and 11th in Antwerp, Germany’s Lena Meissner will be hungry for a first World Cup podium of her own, as will Erika Ackerlund (USA) as she continues to build on her career-best fifth-place finish in Huatulco last year.

Italy’s Ilaria Zane is one of the more experienced athletes on the start line in semi-final two, racing here for the past three years and finishing in the top ten in 2018. Kaidi Kivioja (EST) finished 11th here back in 2015 and represents the ASICS World Triathlon team, as does Bermuda’s Erica Hawley, both of whom will need to set up their race with exceptional swims if they are to be in contention at the business end of proceedings.
by Doug Gray ITU Triathlon


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