Super League Triathlon’s 2021 Championship Series is set to reach a thrilling climax in Malibu this weekend as leaders Jonathan Brownlee and Jessica Learmonth aim to secure the titles in one of the most stacked fields in short course racing history.
The entire men’s and women’s Olympic podium plus the 70.3 World Champions are all competing on the shores of Zuma Beach to decide the honours and how the $1.25m prize purse is shared out.
British gold medalists Brownlee and Learmonth lead the way, but with increased points for the Series finale, some big new talent lining up and a sea swim in Super League’s unique Eliminator format, there is everything to play for.
Olympic champions Kristian Blummenfelt and Flora Duffy and newly crowned Ironman 70.3 World Champions Lucy Charles-Barclay and Gustav Iden all enter the fray.
There are just four points covering the top four men in the Championship Series leaderboard. Brownlee has the advantage courtesy of consistent performances in the first three races in London, Munich and Jersey and, despite a career that has seen him collect the biggest prizes in the sport, admitted to feeling nervous.
Jonathan Brownlee said: “You want to be in that position (top of the leaderboard) and you’d rather be in that position than not but it doesn’t make that much difference. I didn’t expect to be in this position at all because I’ve done it off consistency rather than winning any of them. I will be nervous this weekend. I was as nervous in Jersey as I have been for a very long time. Two years previously I was eliminated at the start and I felt like I had let people down and I didn’t enjoy that. You question yourself as an athlete and to be back there on the same course with my fitness completely different, my health completely different, I didn’t want to do that again.”
Learmonth has secured a perfect three wins from three, and her only realistic challenger is Olympic gold medal winning teammate Georgia Taylor-Brown who has finished second in every event.
However, the additions of Duffy and Charles-Barclay could shake things up.
Jess Learmonth said: “I don’t feel like I have one hand on the trophy. There are extra points so I could drop down quickly and Georgia could finish above me. With Lucy and Flora in the race it will be a different kettle of fish. I would love to win the title. It would be amazing, and certainly much better than I expected. I had low expectations and it would finish it off. A few of us are staying for a few days after in Malibu so it would be a decent house party.”