There’s no doubt about it. The competition in short, middle and long-course racing is going to be fierce in 2022, with many athletes now competing across the distances.
With that in mind, we thought it right to highlight the athletes we’re particularly excited to watch over the next 12 months. You’ll find our picks below, but we’d love to know what yours are, so get in touch!
1. Vincent Luis (FRA)
For two-time world triathlon champion Vincent Luis, the year-delay to the Olympics may well have cost him the crown as he rocked up in Tokyo carrying an injury.
The viewing public was also denied a potential battle of the ages against the eventual medallists, Kristian Blummenfelt, Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde. Fingers crossed, we’ll be treated to that spectacle this year on the WTCS circuit. Liz Barrett, deputy editor.
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2. Katie Zaferes (USA)
The same applies to my female athlete pick, who, despite taking a fantastic Olympic bronze, was not able to perform at her best thanks to injury and a turbulent start to the year following the death of her beloved father.
Shame we won’t see a re-match at the Commies against her fellow medallists Flora Duffy and Georgia Taylor-Brown, but, as with Luis, I’m excited to see which 2022 WTCS Olympic-distance race start line will feature the trio. Liz Barrett, deputy editor.
3. Lucy Charles-Barclay
I’ll always have a soft spot for Lucy as I’ve watched her career for years now and we’ve been lucky enough to work with her on numerous 220 shoots.
Her 70.3 world title win was a real highlight of 2021, but will 2022 be the year we see her take the full Ironman distance title? Helen Webster, editor.
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4. Sam Holness
Meeting Sam on our photoshoot last year was a real honour. With autism as his ‘superpower’ (his own words) we’ve already seen his focussed and dedicated training get him to the 70.3 champs and he has some lofty goals for 2022, which I’m sure he’ll conquer. Helen Webster, editor.
5. Beth Potter
With a background in running and an unofficial 5km road record under her belt (14.41), Scot Beth Potter has been one to keep an eye on ever since she made the switch to triathlon. She had a muted start in Yokohama last year, but since then she’s won two World Triathlon Cups and placed seventh at the World Triathlon race in Abu Dhabi.
There’s plenty of racing to come in 2022, with the World Series, Super League and the Commonwealth Games contributing to a packed schedule. Could this be her breakout year? Rob Slade, features editor.
6. Kristian Blummenfelt
Well, it’s got to be, hasn’t it? Kristian Blummenfelt tore through 2021 like a steam train and it shows no sign of stopping. Over the past 12 months he’s won Olympic gold in Tokyo, claimed top spot in the World Triathlon Championship Series and recorded the fastest-ever time for an Ironman race (on his full-course debut!?).
What’s next for the Norwegian ace? Is he going to make a splash in the Ironman World Championship? And will we see him racing in the new PTO events, the World Series and Super League? The possibilities are endless, and that’s before we’ve even mentioned Sub7. Rob Slade, features editor.
7. Sian Rainsley
Okay, I’m biased because I was mates with her dad at school, but with bronze in the European Championships in Valencia, 5th place at WTCS Hamburg and mixed relay gold at Kitzbühel in 2021, the future looks bright for the former youth Olympics silver medallist who defies Crohn’s Disease to race as an elite. Martyn Brunt, columnist.
8. Alex Yee
Let’s be honest, anyone who can run like that could afford to do the swim on his back and ride round the bike course on a Brompton. I’ve never seen anyone run that fast who wasn’t being chased by the police. Martyn Brunt, columnist.
9. Sophie Coldwell
Narrowly missing out on a spot on the 2022 Olympic team, Sophie Coldwell has seen some success in junior racing and will be looking to get more familiar with the podium on the professional field this season. As fifth in the world in 2021, we’re excited to see what 2022 has in store for Sophie. Kate Milsom, staff writer.
10. George Peasgood
George Peasgood was one of the most successful paratriathletes at Tokyo 2020, medalling in both the PTS5 triathlon with silver and C4 TT cycling with bronze, so we’d be remiss not to mention him as someone to watch this season.
A powerhouse on the bike and skilled all-rounder with already much achieved by the tender age of 25 (he’s now 26), we can only imagine where George’s ambition will take him in 2022. Kate Milsom, staff writer.
11. Kat Matthews
Post-Olympics, with two Ironman World Championships and the rise of the PTO, this is the year for long course excitement.
While there are any number of British women I could pick, Army officer Kat Matthews, already a two-time Ironman champion and fourth in the 70.3 Worlds last season, has the application, talent and attitude to continue her upward trajectory. Tim Heming, columnist.
12. Javier Gomez
Perhaps it’s been the brilliance of Jan Frodeno and the Norwegians, or the rise of Alex Yee, but many in the triathlon world seems to have short memories when it comes to five-time World Triathlon world champion Javier Gomez.
At 38, with his Olympic ambitions finally behind him and the focus to fully commit to long course, Spain’s greatest-ever triathlete will be a force to be reckoned with on Ironman’s biggest stages, whether it’s St George or Hawaii’s Big Island. Tim Heming, columnist.
13. Martyn Brunt
The Commonwealths in Birmingham may come too soon for Martyn, who has been steadily building his triathlon career since the Falklands War and now warms into each season at the pace Covid-compliant citizens warm to the Prime Minister.
But a canny racer, he’s sure to scour the fixture list for an event that has enough obscure age-groups to allow him to massage the eventual result more brazenly than Gordon Ramsey’s press officer did that time he completed Kona when it was very, very, very dark. Tim Heming, columnist.
Top image credit: David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images