Julia Shatalov to represent Team USA in World Triathlon Championships

June 2, 2021

For a few years, Julia Shatalov ’21 dreamt of qualifying for the World Triathlon Championships. 

Julia Shatalov ’21 on right.

The dream came true in May, when she placed third in the Age Group Draft-Legal Sprint Distance triathlon, held as part of the East Coast Triathlon Festival’s legal world qualifier. The qualifier, held on May 2 in Richmond, Virginia, brought talented athletes from around the country to compete. Shatalov’s event was comprised of an 800-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride, and a 5-kilometer run. 

“The East Coast Triathlon Festival is known to have a particularly tough field of athletes because it is an early-season race,” explained Shatalov. “I was not expecting to place as high as I did, so it was an overwhelming and proud moment to cross that finish line.” 

Having placed third, Shatalov will now represent Team USA in the 2021 World Triathlon in Bermuda from Oct. 15-17.  It will be the first time she races internationally. “I have spent most of my time as a high school student dreaming of qualifying for Worlds, so it feels a little unreal that I actually made it. This next year is going to have a lot of big life changes for me, between going to college where I will be in a completely new city, and joining a new triathlon team this fall. I am excited to see what happens next as I level up my training and push myself to compete against some of the best athletes in the world.” 

Training for the qualifier included 25 hours of work per week, combining swim, bike, and run workouts on different days, according to Shatalov. Her coach, Doug Levens, guided her through the entire process. 

To prepare for the world championship, Shatalov plans to increase the number of hours per week that she spends training, and will incorporate more strength training into her swimming, biking, and running workouts. Shatalov also intends to compete in an Olympic distance triathlon this summer—comprised of a 1,600-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride, and 10-kilometer run—as a way to further her training.