How to watch World Triathlon Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi welcomes the final round of the 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series tomorrow. Here's all you need to know… 

Athletes take to the starting pontoon at the 2019 World Triathlon Abu Dhabi event

World Triathlon Abu Dhabi marks the sixth and final race in the global series for the 2021 season and takes place on the same day as the 2021 World Paratriathlon Championships.

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A stunning line-up of the world’s best triathletes, including Olympic and world champions, is getting ready to take to the stage at the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit for one final sprint-distance blast.

Not only are world series points up for grabs but it’s also a great chance for athletes to experience the same course that will host the 2022 World Triathlon Championship. Here’s everything you need to know about the events…

When and where is World Triathlon Abu Dhabi taking place?

World Triathlon Abu Dhabi is taking place on Friday 5 November at Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi. You can see the race times listed below (all times are local).

2:11pm: Elite Men: Sprint-distance race
4:11pm: Elite Women: Sprint-distance race
5:50pm: Elite Men and Women: medal ceremony

How can I watch World Triathlon Abu Dhabi?

You can watch all races live on TriathlonLIVE.tv, including the Paratriathlon World Championships.

UK audiences can stream live coverage of the men’s and women’s sprint races via the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport app and Red Button at the following times:

  • Men’s elite sprint: 9:55-11:25am (UK time)
  • Women’s elite sprint: 11:55-13:25 (UK time)

Click here to watch all the action on the BBC Sport website.

Who’s racing the 2021 World Triathlon Abu Dhabi? 

The men’s race

With current Olympic and world champion Kristian Blummenfelt skipping Abu Dhabi, wearing number one tomorrow will be a relatively new face for global triathlon fans: Tim Helllwig. The U23 World Champs silver medallist took victory in Hamburg in September and leads a powerful German team, including Jonas Schomburg – the only athlete lining up in Abu Dhabi who’s all six previous editions of the race.

Hellwig will have his work cut out against some more established names, however. Not least one Vincent Luis, the two-time world champion and Olympic relay bronze medallist. He’s also medalled twice in Abu Dhabi and knows how to race in extreme conditions – the water and air temp in Abu Dhabi is expected to be above 30 degrees.

Luis’ teammate Leo Bergere will be hoping to better his 2019 result when he outsprinted Luis to take fourth, but three podium finishes this season certainly puts the Frenchman in contention.

Vincent Luis racing in the Mixed Team Relay at the Tokyo Olympics
Vincent Luis racing in the Mixed Team Relay at the Tokyo Olympics. The Frenchman is one of the strongest contenders in Abu Dhabi (Credit: Tommy Zaferes/World Triathlon)

Tokyo bronze medallist and 2021 Super League Triathlon Series runner-up, Hayden Wilde (NZL) should fair well over the flat-pan run course, as should the USA’s Morgan Pearson. The American mounted two WTCS podiums in Yokohama and Leeds, took silver in the Mixed Relays at the Tokyo Olympics, but hasn’t raced since then.

Also keep an eye out for Antonio Serrat Seoane of Spain, who’s chasing his first podium place after three top-five finishes in the last three months, and Casper Stornes (NOR), who had a disappointing race in Tokyo but came back with a victory at Ironman 70.3 Nice a month ago.

With Tokyo silver medallist and Super League Series winner Alex Yee taking a well-earned break, representing GB are Gordon Benson, Grant Sheldon and Samuel Dickinson.

The women’s race

The women’s race is set to be a humdinger! First up, we have the reigning Olympic champion and world Champion Flora Duffy (BER) on the start line, who, despite 11 World Triathlon Championship Series’ race wins under her belt, has yet to achieve victory in Abu Dhabi.

Chasing her down will be rising USA Triathlon star, Taylor Knibb, who’s proven multiple times over the last few months that very few can match her on the bike leg across all distances. If she gets out of the water with the lead group, she’ll be dictating the race pace from the start of the 20km ride.

But if anyone can match her on bike speed and strength it’s the current 70.3 world champion, Lucy Charles-Barclay, who has Paris 2024 in her crosshairs. Her WTCS debut in Leeds saw her finish fifth against a strong field.

Reigning Olympic and world champion Flora Duffy
Reigning Olympic and world champion Flora Duffy will be hoping to add Abu Dhabi to her impressive list of WTCS race wins. (Credit: Wagner Araujo/World Triathlon)

Of course making the British Olympic team won’t be an easy task when it already boasts the double Olympic medallist Georgia Taylor-Brown and the sport’s fastest swimmer and mixed relay gold medallist, Jess Learmonth. Taylor-Brown has never podium’d before in Abu Dhabi, whereas Learmonth has two silver medals from the UAE capital.

Also lining up for Great Britain will be Rio 2016 bronze medallist Vicky Holland, Beth Potter and Non Stanford. Potter is returning from an amazing two-week trip to South Korea, where she racked up back-to-back World Cup victories.

Joining their more experiences teammates will be strong swimmers Sian Rainsley, who’s currently ranked fifth in the WTCS rankings after a fifth-place finish in Hamburg in September, and Sophie Coldwell, who’s beginning to show podium-placing form.

Others to watch out for include: Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), Laura Lindemann (GER), Summer Rappaport (USA), Taylor Spivey (USA), Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) and Lisa Tersch (GER).

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Top image credit: Janos Schmidt/World Triathlon