Irish in Action at ITU World Champs & Grand Final in Cozumel

NOTE: Amendments have been made to this article to reflect the late withdrawal of Aileen Reid from the women's grand final.

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Ireland goes head to head with the world's best this week at the ITU Cozumel Grand Final in Mexico.

A total of 18 Irish athletes - from Age Groupers right up to the Elite High Performance team are in action at the resort island surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean.

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The Cozumel Grand Final will mark the fourth time the popular beach resort has hosted an ITU race, with the city having hosted a World Cup every year since 2013. In its first year hosting the World Cup, Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez and Olympic gold medallist Nicola Spirig each stormed through the race to win in dominating fashion.

Spirig returned the next year to again take the title. With its clear ocean waters and colourful city as a background, Cozumel is one of the most picturesque races to hit the ITU calendar.

Aquathlon AG Start Line

Age Group Action

Already this week, Lan O'Connor got things started by finishing 11th in the 55-59 AG of the World Aquathlon Championships.

Later today (Thursday), Lan, Aoife Murray, Deirdre Rutter, Liam McElvanna, Neil McElvanna, Desmond McHenry, June McMinn and Michael McDonald will race in their Age Groups of the World Sprint Championships. Results from this race will be posted to triathlon.org later today and keep an eye on our facebook and twitter feed for updates.

On Sunday Desmond McHenry, June McMinn and Michael McDonald who are all racing in the Sprint distance race today) will line out in the AG Standard Distance World Championships. They'll be accompanied by Ciara Owens, Emma Walker, James Flack, Philip Cullen, Sheila Power, Willian Neary and Lan O'Connor who at that stage will have raced in the Aquathlon, Sprint and Standard distance world championships!

Darren Dunne HOTW

Darren Dunne Races in Junior World Championships

On Friday, TI high performance development athlete Darren Dunne will line out in the biggest race of his career in the Elite Junior World Championships. Dunne has had a great season so far, featuring prominently in the Super Series and winning a clutch of non-drafting races around the country.

Dunne has been assigned race number 60 of the 76 athletes present and faces a world class field of future stars, he has made huge improvements this year though and a prominent performance can't be ruled out.

Aileen Reid Rio Run 3

Reid Misses Grand Final

Due to a late injury, Ireland's most successful triathlete Aileen Reid has been forced to withdraw from the Elite Women's Grand Final. Reid has been in Cozumel since the start of this week but her back injury means she is unable to race.

The women's field includes two-time reigning world champion and Olympic gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen and top-ranked athlete Flora Duffy. If Jorgensen wins the world title, she will become just the second woman to win three world championship titles. She already owns more World Triathlon Series overall titles with two consecutive wins. 

Click here for the complete ITU elite women's race preview

Follow the women's race live with timing and text updates, at triathlonlive.tv and on twitter at @triathlonlive

Bryan Keane Rio Race 5

Keane and White Battle Men's Field

Bryan Keane and Russell White race in the Elite men's grand final on Sunday. Keane will be looking to get the performance he is capable of but missed out on executing at the Rio Olympics while there's no guessing where White might end up.

Russel White Edmonton 6

2016 has been a breakthrough year for White as he equalled the best ever performance by an Irish male triathlete by finishing 13th at the Leeds World Series event and then showed that result was no fluke by taking 13th at the World Series race in Edmonton. Like the women's race, the men's grand final will be steamed available live on triathlonlive.tv with live twitter updates on @triathlonlive

Click here for the ITU's preview of the Elite Men's race

SCHEDULE:

Aquathlon Men - September 14 - 08:00 Click here for a time in your area
Aquathlon Women - September 14 - 08:05 Click here for a time in your area
Age group sprint - September 15 - 06:45 Click here for a time in your area
Under23 Men - September 15 - 15:00  Click here for a time in your area  
Under23 Women - September 16 - 07:30 Click here for a time in your area
Junior Men - September 16 - 15:00  Click here for a time in your area 
Junior Women - September 16 - 17:00 Click here for a time in your area
Junior/U23 Mixed Relay  - September 17 - 09:00 Click here for a time in your area
Elite Women - September 17 - 15:30 Click here for a time in your area
Age group standard - September 18 - 06:45 Click here for a time in your area
Elite Men - September 18 - 15:00 Click here for a time in your area

Click here for the full, detailed schedule including age-group races 

WEBSITES:
http://cozumel.triathlon.org/

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COURSE PROFILE:

Swim (1500m) – Athletes will swim 1 lap in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Bike (40km) – Athletes will cycle 8 laps of 5 km each, passing 16 times in front of the transition zone and spectator area. On fully paved and closed roads, the course is flat but very technical as it winds around FONATUR marina Triathlon park and the city streets.
Run (10km) – Athletes will finish with a run of 4 laps of 2.5 km. each. They will pass 8 times in front of transition zone using the FONATUR marina Triathlon Park and city streets that is sure to offer up a flat and fast competition

Click here for a complete list of all course maps


PAST GRAND FINAL WINNERS
2015 Chicago Grand Final

1. Gwen Jorgensn (USA)                            1. Mario Mola  (ESP)

2014 Edmonton Grand Final 

1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                           1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

2013 London Grand Final 

1. Non Stanford (GBR)                                 1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2012 Auckland Grand Final

1. Anne Haug (GER)                                    1. Javier Gomez (ESP)

2011 Beijing Grand Final

1. Helen Jenkins (GBR)                               1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)         

2010 Budapest Grand Final 

1. Emma Snowsill (AUS)                               1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

2009 Gold Coast Grand Final

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                                 1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)

ITU WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALLISTS   
(since World Championship format change in 2009)

2015
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                         1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                               2. Mario Mola (ESP)
3. Sarah True (USA)                                   3. Vincent Luis (FRA)

2014

1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA)                          1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2. Sarah True (USA)                                  2. Mario Mola (ESP)
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                              3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)

2013 

1. Non Stanford (GBR)                                1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2.  Aileen Reid (IRL)                                   2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 
3.  Emma Moffatt (AUS)                              3. Mario Mola (ESP)

2012

1. Lisa Norden (SWE)                            1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 
2. Anne Haug (GER)                             2.  Javier Gomez (ESP) 
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                         3. Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS) 

2011

1. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                            1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR)      
2. Helen Jenkins (GBR)                              2. Sven Riederer (SUI)
3. Melanie Hauss (SUI)                                3. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)

2010 

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                             1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 
2. Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                  2. Steffen Justus (GER) 
3. Lisa Norden (SWE)                                3. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)  

2009

1. Emma Moffatt (AUS)                            1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 
2. Lisa Norden (SWE)                               2. Javier Gomez (ESP)
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)                             3. Maik Petzold (GER)

Past ITU Cozumel World Cup winners
2015   Ai Ueda (JPN)                                        Richard Murray (RSA)
2014    Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                Javier Gomez (ESP)
2013    Nicola Spirig (SUI)                                Etienne Diemunsch (FRA)