The 2014 Commonwealth Games Triathlon Mixed Relay kicks off here at Strathclyde Park at 12:30pm this afternoon with England as the overwhelming favourites to add to Thursday’s quartet of individual medals.
The English team has been announced this morning will be led out by Thursday’s bronze medallist Vicky Holland followed by silver medallist Jonny Brownlee. Commonwealth gold Jodie Stimpson will be next to take the metaphorical baton before Alistair Brownlee, who obliterated the men’s field two days ago, races the last leg.
The format will see each member complete the 250m swim, 6km bike and 1.6km run before the next triathlete takes over. Having secured four of the six medals on offer on Thursday, the English team are the force to beat but, as Britain’s sprint teams on the track in recent years will testify, anything can happen in the relays (with each member tapping the next athlete, at least they’ll be no baton to drop today).
Two-weeks after claiming a record third ITU Mixed Relay title, Britain will have four Home Nation teams on the course today with the Scottish line-up including Natalie Milne, Grant Sheldon, Seonaid Thompson and David McNamee set to receive the lion’s share of Strathclyde’s already healthy crowds.
The Northern Irish team looks strong with top ITU racer Aileen Reid leading the charge, followed by Conor Murphy (who has 35 family members here to cheer him on), 70.3 specialist Eimear Mullan and Russell White. The Welsh line-up, missing the injured Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins, consists of 2013 Outlaw Half winner Carol Bridge, Liam Lloyd, Holly Lawrence and Morgan Davies.
England’s major competitors will come from the Southern Hemisphere, with the Australian line-up featuring former ITU World Champ Emma Moffatt, Aaron Royle, Emma Jackson and Ryan Bailie. The experienced Kiwi team will feature Andrea Hewitt, Tony Dodds, Nicky Samuels and Ryan Sissons.
The South Africans also have strength-in-depth, with Kate Roberts, top swimmer Henri Schoeman, Brit-based Gill Sanders and Thursday’s bronze medallist Richard Murray, who beat both Brownlees at the ITU sprint race in Hyde Park two months ago.
With Kirsten Sweetland on the podium on Thursday and Andrew Yorke having finished fourth, Canada will also be force to watch, with the Matthew Sharpe and Andrew Yorke completing the roster. Mauritius will be the ninth and final team on the bill.
We’ll be carrying coverage before, during and after the race on our Twitter feed, and full TV coverage will be available live from the BBC and on the BBC Sport website. A full report and post-race interviews will be here immediately after the race.
(Image: Delly Carr/ITU)