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Erica Hawley returns to action in Valencia

Erica Hawley

Erica Hawley will be aiming to build on her encouraging performance at the Commonwealth Games when she takes to the start line of the fifth World Triathlon Cup of the year in Valencia, Spain, tomorrow.

Fresh from finishing sixteenth in Birmingham, matching her performance at the 2018 Games in Australia, the 23-year-old will be among a stellar elite women’s field tackling a fast, flat sprint-distance course consisting of a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and 5km run.

Hawley will be representing the Asics World Triathlon Team in Valencia as five members of the squad head to the second of three designated races this year.

The primary objective of this project is to provide support, resources and expertise to athletes from emerging and developing national federations with the potential to compete at World Triathlon Cup level and qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris.

“I’m super excited to race as part of the Asics World Triathlon team and give it my all on a new course,” Hawley wrote on Instagram.

Among the strong line-up of athletes competing, Kirsten Kasper will sport the No 1 cap and lead the line in Valencia as she continues to search for her peak fitness post-Covid.

Joining Kasper for only her second World Cup appearance since a 2019 victory in Huatulco will be Summer Rappaport, a proven competitor of both sprint and standard distance at this level and ready for another chance to put recent altitude training to the test after what was a disappointing 26th at World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg in July.

Germany continues to turn out podium potential at an impressive rate, with Lisa Tertsch looking back in the form that brought her bronze at this venue in 2020 after taking a first WTCS podium with bronze in Hamburg and silver in Pontevedra two weeks later.

Also in Germany’s talented contingent are the consistent challengers of Nina Eim and Lena Meissner, with 2021 Arzachena World Cup winner Marlene Gomez-Goggel and this year’s Huatulco champion, Annika Koch.

Leonie Periault, a silver medal-winner in WTCS Yokahama, is another notable inclusion. However, having only just returned to full fitness, it is still unclear what level of form she is in.

Brazil’s Luisa Baptista returns to the short course after her fifth place at the Samorin Long Distance World Championships last month, while Ecuadorean Elizabeth Bravo makes her first start since finishing fifteenth in Pontevedra, Spain, in July.

Belgium’s Jolien Vermeylen, who took silver last time out, will have huge amount of confidence from that first World Cup podium and the 28-year-old will want to follow that performance quickly in Valencia, while compatriot Valerie Barthelemy is another with big medal potential offset by the uncertainty of her recent bout of Covid.

A strong Austrian trio of Julia Hauser, Sara Vilic and Lisa Perterer are likely to be up there and challenging off the bike, while South Africa’s Simone Ackermann will hope her Commonwealth Games top-ten finish could be the impetus behind a fresh run of World Cup form.

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Published September 02, 2022 at 7:50 am (Updated September 02, 2022 at 7:50 am)

Erica Hawley returns to action in Valencia

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