The city of Oklahoma will host this weekend the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships with an all-star list of athletes competing for the World Titles, not only on the elite categories, but also in paratriathlon and age-group.

The Championships will be contested over a two-lap 4km swim in the Hefner Lake, the water reservoir for Oklahoma City, which is only allowing swimming for the event. After the 4km swim, they will take the bikes for a 120km ride into the warm and humid air of the Oklahoma countryside.

The course, some urban but mostly rural, is a series of mildly undulating hills with the greatest challenge being the strong country winds.

The run course consists of three laps of 10 km each staged in the flat and fast closed course of the Hefner Lake.

Women’s Preview

Almost 20 women will take the start in Oklahoma in the fight for the world crown with none of the last year’s podium competing this year, which makes the race more open than ever and with some very strong candidates for the victory.

Among them, Hanna Maksinova (BLR), current national champion and fourth in the ETU Long Distance European Championships this year, who will be the one to beat along with Annie Thoren (SWE), the only one who competed last year in the World Championship.

The US will have a very strong and numerous team in Oklahoma, with eight women listed, among them promising triathletes such as Jennifer Spieldenner and Kathy Rakel.

Men’s Preview

Reigning World Champion from 2015 and third in the 2013 event, Frenchman Cyril Viennot is one of the strongest men to beat. He is a very strong and solid cyclist who has steadily increased his finishes in the longer distances in the last couple of years. So he has one of the best chances to reclaim his title.

He will be one of the most watched triathletes taking into account that we will see many new faces trying to grab their first Long Distance world podium.

Russian Nikolai Yaroshenko will be one of the contenders, coming really strongly after his victories in Weihai in the last couple of years. Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) and Craig Alexander (AUS) have had many victories in mid-distance racing so shouldn’t be discounted this weekend.

The 2016 ITU Oklahoma Long Distance World Championships elite men’s race will start on Saturday 29 at 7.28 AM local time, while the women’s race will take place on Saturday 29 at 7.32 AM local time.