Top Americans Open ITU World Triathlon Series in Sydney

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Seven U.S. Olympic hopeful triathletes, including six members of the USA Triathlon National Team, will kick off the 2012 International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series with the opener of the eight-race slate this weekend in Sydney, Australia.

Matt Chrabot is one of seven Americans set to compete in Sydney. (Rich Cruse/ITU)

Action opens Friday at 5:30 p.m. Eastern with the women’s race, followed by the men at 8:25 p.m. Eastern. A live webcast of the Sydney opener and the entire eight-race series is available at

London Games qualifiers Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.) and Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.), as well as Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) and Jillian Petersen (Colorado Springs, Colo.), are on the start list for the U.S. women.

Coming off a third-place series finish in 2011, Groff makes her 2012 debut. Bennett, who was sixth in Sydney a year ago and eighth in the 2011 series rankings, and Jorgensen, who was 11th in last year’s series rankings, are fresh off respective seventh- and eighth-place finishes at last month’s Mooloolaba ITU World Cup. Petersen was second at the 2012 PATCO Championships in January. Visit for a complete women’s start list.

National Team members Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) and Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) will follow in the subsequent men’s race.

Chrabot, who finished fifth at the WTS stop in Yokohama, Japan, last September, will make his 2012 race debut. Huerta recorded a podium finish at the Bridgetown ITU Pan American Cup earlier this year, while Shoemaker won his season opener at last month’s Clermont ITU Pan American Cup. Visit for a complete men’s start list.

A complete race preview is available from ITU.

The Sydney event will serve as a tune-up for many of the U.S. athletes expected to compete in the May 11-12 ITU World Triathlon San Diego, which will serve as the second and final qualifying event for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team.

The eight-event ITU World Triathlon Series is a key proving ground for the United States’ top triathletes aiming for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. In addition to racing for WTS points, athletes also will be looking to earn points toward securing a spot for their country at the 2012 Olympic Triathlon in London. The ITU Olympic Qualification Period closes May 31, 2012.

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