By Bill Plock
The Collins Cup is now set and IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 no doubt had an impact as Justin Metzler, Taylor Knibb and Emma Pallant-Browne were all chosen as Captains picks to join their respective teams. Metzler finished 5th in Boulder and Pallant-Browne and Knibb were first and second respectively helping them earn a spot. Also of note, added to the US team is Olympic silver medalist Katie Zaferes.
Also racing in Boulder last week, and already on their teams were; Sam Long, Sam Appleton, Skye Moench, Jeanni Metzler, and Chelsea Sadaro.
Colorado is well represented with residents Chris Leiferman, Matt Hanson, Rudy Von Berg, Sam Long, Justin Metzler, Jeanni Metzler, Taylor Knibb and Sam Appleton all racing in Slovakia.
The Official News Release from the PTO:
The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) today announced the athletes who will be joining their automatically qualified fellow Team Members as Captain’s Picks for Team Europe, Internationals and USA at the inaugural Collins Cup.
The Collins Cup is the PTO’s inaugural flagship event taking place on 28th August in Šamorín, Slovakia and is a new race format modelled after the Ryder Cup, which will see teams of International, European and USA athletes pitted against one another and put on display the excitement, rivalry, drama and personalities of the sport of triathlon.
Team US Captains, Mark Allen and Karen Symers, today confirmed that Katie Zaferes, Taylor Knibb, Chris Leiferman and Justin Metzler will join the eight US athletes who have already automatically qualified.
Team International Captains, Lisa Bentley and Simon Whitfield have selected Ellie Salthouse, Sarah Crowley, Jackson Laundry and Kyle Smith to join Team Internationals.
Team Europe Captains, Natascha Badmann and Normann Stadler have decided on Brits Kat Matthews and Emma Pallant-Browne, Germany’s Sebastian Kienle and rising Danish star Daniel Bækkegård to join the already qualified stellar Team Europe line-up that includes PTO World No.1s Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf.
Team Europe is stacked with both the sport’s veteran stars and its young guns. While Frodeno and Kienle bring the experience and breadth of 20+ year careers, Gustav Iden, Daniel Bækkegård and Lucy Charles-Barclay, with their recent stellar performances, bring the speed and power of youth.
Team Internationals cannot be written off. Led by the gutsy Lionel Sanders and Paula Findlay, recent winner of the PTO 2020 Championship, they will be a formidable force. While Team US has US No. 1s Sam Long and Skye Moench, being joined by Olympic stars Zaferes and Knibb adds serious firepower.
Olympic silver medallist Katie Zaferes said, “I am grateful to have been awarded a Captain’s Pick. It is great that the professionals have their own organisation and now, a flagship race. It is an honour to be part of it and for me to be competing alongside my fellow Americans as part of Team US in The Collin Cup. Whilst beating the competition is the goal, the professional camaraderie generated as professionals unite to make our sport better is the reason this event is so special.”
On hearing of his selection, German star Sebastien Kienle said, “I am excited to race at The Collins Cup. I have been training and preparing to be in the best shape for this race. I am looking forward to competing against the best in the world and helping Team Europe lift the 2021 Collins Cup.”
Australian Sarah Crowley said, “It is an honour to represent Team Internationals at the 2021 Collins Cup. I’m pleased to have received a Captain’s Pick and it will be awesome to race against all the other top triathletes in the world. Being part of a team will be an added incentive to perform at my best.”