|The chilly winter may be around the corner but the rankings race is heating up as the 2007 BG Triathlon World Cup series concludes in Eilat, Israel on December 1st. Last year’s overall world up champions Javier Gomez of Spain and Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal both led the world rankings for most of this season. After 14 world cup races, both maintain tight strangleholds on the top spots while the others jostle for position to stake their claim to the US$250,000 bonus pool.|
A fierce battle for number two remains between Australian Emma Moffatt, who’s breakthrough year was highlighted by her first world cup win in Edmonton, and veteran Samantha Warriner of New Zealand, the only woman other than Fernandes to win multiple world cups this year. Going into Cancun, Warriner needed a 9th place finish to overtake Moffatt. But disappointing result now leaves her just five points behind the number two spot in the world. However, a 15th place finish in Eilat will be enough for Warriner to move up a spot and pick up US$30,000 from the world cup bonus pool.
Another interesting Australian-Kiwi battle remains between number four Emma Smowsill and the fifth ranked Debbie Tanner. After Snowsill took silver in Hamburg and Beijing, she pulled ahead of Tanner by one point. Meanwhile, American Sarah Haskins jumps inside the top ten after a bronze medal performance in Cancun. If she stands pat at number seven in the world, she’ll add an extra US$4500 to her breakthrough year in which she made the world cup podium twice and was runner-up at the U.S. National Championships and Pan Am Games.
On the men’s side, Simon Whitfield entered Cancun with the aim of sewing up the number two spot and after winning the race, he looks to have accomplished just that. But with a forty-point cushion over Brad Kahlefeldt, the Aussie would have win Eilat to overtake number two. Just 12 points behind Kahlefeldt is Kiwi Bevan Docherty, who needed seventh place finish in Cancun to take over the number three spot. However, Docherty managed a 12th place result, keeping him in the fourth spot. His Kiwi teammate Kris Gemmell failed to finish in Cancun leaving him still behind Docherty in fifth place in the world rankings.
Much like Cancun women’s bronze medalist Haskins, Ukrainian veteran Volodymyr Polikarpenko hopped in the world’s top ten after collecting points in Cancun and Rhodes. Now just nine points behind Russian Alexander Brukhankov, Polikarpenko could seize the sixth spot if races in Eilat and finishes at least 12th.
With a quarter million up for grabs, it will come down the season finale in Eilat next month.