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USA Triathlon Announces 2020 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team

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USA Triathlon announced its 2020 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, the five athletes who will represent the U.S. in triathlon at this summer’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Kevin McDowell and Katie Zaferes were newly announced to the roster, joining Summer Rappaport, Taylor Knibb and Morgan Pearson, who were already qualified.


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The five Tokyo-bound athletes have a combined 32 World Triathlon Championship Series medals, 30 World Triathlon Cup medals and 12 World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series medals between them.

“Our athletes, like Olympic hopefuls across the world, had to put their dreams on hold when COVID-19 caused the postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021. The perseverance they have shown during a time of so much uncertainty and change has been amazing to witness,” – said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “I believe we are going to witness the most unique and inspiring Games in history, and we encourage the entire multisport community to get behind our athletes and support Team USA before, during and after the Games.”


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Photo: © Andrzej Waszkewicz / USA Triathlon


Qualification Process

USA Triathlon designated two Auto-Selection Events for the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, in which athletes had the opportunity to auto-qualify for Tokyo by meeting specific criteria. The two Auto-Selection events were the 2019 ITU World Olympic Qualification Event on Aug. 4, 2019, and the 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama on May 15. Rappaport became the first woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team with a fifth-place finish at the 2019 Tokyo event. Knibb joined Rappaport on the women’s roster by way of her victory May 15 in Yokohama, Japan, while Pearson claimed the first spot on the men’s team thanks to a bronze-medal performance in Yokohama.

Based on the World Triathlon Olympic Rankings as of June 14, the U.S. officially earned three spots for women and two spots for men. McDowell and Zaferes were selected for the final two discretionary spots via the USA Triathlon Games Athlete Selection Committee.


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Photo: © Andrzej Waszkewicz / USA Triathlon


U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team


Taylor Knibb

Knibb, 23, is the youngest woman ever to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team. She is the 2016 and 2017 Junior World Champion and 2018 Under-23 World Champion, one of three women in history to capture world titles at both the Junior and U23 levels. She lives in Boulder and is coached by Ian O’Brien.

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Photo: © Team USA / Getty Images


Summer Rappaport

Rappaport, 29, is a five-time World Triathlon Championship Series medalist and 13-time World Triathlon Cup medalist. She was fifth in the overall 2019 World Triathlon Championship Series rankings. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, and is coached by Paulo Sousa.

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Photo: © Team USA / Getty Images


Katie Zaferes

Zaferes, 32, competed at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, finishing 18th. She placed fifth overall in the World Triathlon Championship Series in 2015, fourth in 2016, third in 2017, and second in 2018, before capturing her first world title in 2019. She lives in Cary, North Carolina, and is coached by Joel Filliol.

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Photo: © Team USA / Getty Images



Kevin McDowell

McDowell, 28, is a seven-time World Triathlon Cup medalist. At the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, he earned silver in the individual event and bronze in the Mixed Relay. He won gold at the 2014 FISU World University Triathlon Championships and silver at the 2015 Pan American Games. McDowell lives in Colorado Springs and is coached by Nate Wilson.

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Photo: © Team USA / Getty Images


Morgan Pearson

Pearson, 27, debuted as an elite triathlete in 2018. He is experiencing a breakout 2021 season, winning bronze in Yokohama on May 15 and silver in Leeds, England, on June 6, to become the first U.S. male ever to earn multiple World Triathlon Championship Series medals. Pearson trains in Boulder and is coached by Dean Golich.

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Photo: © Team USA / Getty Images


Triathlon at the Olympic Games

Triathlon at the Olympic Games will include individual competitions for men and women, as well as a Mixed Relay, which makes its debut as an Olympic medal event. In the individual events, athletes cover a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. In the Mixed Relay, four athletes from the same country (two men, two women) compete on a team. Each athlete covers a 300m swim, 6.8k bike and 2k run before tagging off to the next teammate, with the fastest combined time winning the race. The U.S. is historically strong in the Mixed Relay format, winning five World Championship medals including gold in 2016.

The Olympic men’s triathlon competition is scheduled for Sunday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m. ET (Monday, July 26 at 6:30 a.m. Tokyo time). The Olympic women’s event is set for Monday, July 26, at 5:30 p.m. ET (Tuesday, July 27 at 6:30 a.m. Tokyo time). The Mixed Relay is set for Friday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. ET (Saturday, July 31 at 7:30 a.m. Tokyo time).



Source: www.usatriathlon.org


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