By David Gold

laura_bennett_02-08-11July 29 - Nine top triathletes from the United States will compete for a place on the Olympic triathlon team for the London 2012 Games at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship Series this weekend.

The event will take place in London on August 6 and 7, with Laura Bennett (pictured), Sarah Groff, Sarah Haskins, Gwen Jorgensen and Jillian Petersen competing in the women's race on the first day.

Matt Chrabot, Manuel Huerta, Hunter Kemper and Jarrod Shoemaker will go head to head in the men's race on the final day.

Bennett, Haskins and Shoemaker will be hoping to reach their second successive Olympics, whilst Kemper is looking for a fourth Games qualification.

To motivate them further, they will be competing on the course to be used for the 2012 Games, and the two highest placed athletes in both the men's and women's will be heading back to London next year, on the basis that they also finish in the top nine.

Athletes can also wrap up a country slot for the USA if they finish in the top three.

Bennett will be particularly confident of success after finishing in the top 10 five times during the first three World Championship Series events of the year.

Groff will also be optimistic about her chances after being the first American women to finish on the podium in Kitzbühel, Austria.

Kemper has also had a good start to 2011 with three ITU World Cup podium finishes, and a win at June's USA Triathlon Elite Race Series Stop in Monroe, Washington.

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