Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report: 2016 Preview
Six months after the record-breaking events of the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago, the 2016 season is almost upon us. The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report is back to bring you insight into the key performers during the Olympic year. In a special edition to kick off the season, this report previews the 2016 season ahead of the first event – the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.
Will it be another Spain versus Great Britain battle for National Federation honours in 2016? In winning his fifth ITU World Championship in 2015, a first for any athlete, Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) made it three consecutive titles by once again heading the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings. On the podium eight times from his nine WTS race starts last year, Javier collected wins in both Yokohama and Stockholm to bring his career total of World Triathlon Series wins to 12. Remarkably, he has now earned 36 podium positions from 48 ITU World Triathlon Series starts, and if anything, is still improving.
The closing chapter of the 2015 season was that remarkable head-to-head run at the Chicago Grand Final between Javier and Mario Mola (ESP). Finishing with a stunning 28:59 10km run split, Mola edged out Gomez to take second place in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings for the second consecutive season. Perhaps more importantly for his rivals, Mola had his best ever swim in Chicago to be right in contention from T1. Mola is a serious contender for Olympic Gold.
With Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 11th and Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 14th in the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings for 2016, one might be forgiven for thinking that the legendary brothers from Leeds may be fading. However, closer inspection suggests that is far from the full story. While injuries to both limited their ability to race in 2015, with just seven World Triathlon Series starts between them, they did win – comprehensively – two races each, and who can forget that incredible head-to-head sprint between Alistair and Gomez in Yokohama?
Alistair has now won at least one ITU World Triathlon Series event every season since it began in 2009, with a record breaking total of 19 gold medals so far. For Jonathan – with an impressive 10 wins of his own – his performance in Gold Coast was one of the finest we have seen from any athlete in recent years. Write off this pair at your peril.
Vincent Luis (FRA) was the breakthrough name of 2015. Third overall in the Columbia Threadneedle Ranking…