As is the normal procedure, the ITU just published the WTS start lists of Abu Dhabi. If they confirm the absence of Alistair Brwonlee, of Gwen Jorgensen and of the Australian team, all of the best athletes will make their debut; and there is a great surprise.
Vanessa Fernandes will make her big comeback in triathlon after a 5 years break on the course. A bit of history, the Portuguese won her first world cup aged of 18. This former elite world champion at 22 (2007) is still the athlete who won the most of world cups with a total of 20.
She will be, by the way, the only female athlete in Abu Dhabi who already won an Olympic medal (silver in Beijing). She was then aged 23.
In 2011, she surprised the whole community by announcing her retirement from triathlon. She finally made her transition to marathon (PB 2:31) and she acted like the substitute for Rio OG.
Her come back in the competition in triathlon is pretty ironic since she has been inducted in the ITU Hall of Fame in 2015. Lino Barruncho would be the current coach.