By World Triathlon Admin on 09/06/08 at 12:00 am
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Spain’s Javier Gomez has firmly asserted himself as triathlon’s best after winning his first elite world champ in Vancouver.
Spain’s Javier Gomez has firmly asserted himself as triathlon’s best after winning his first elite world championship today in Vancouver, Canada. He joins teammate and friend Ivan Rana as the only Spanish athletes to win elite world titles. Bevan Docherty, the world champion from 2004, took the silver just ahead of Switzerland’s Reto Hug.
The crowd erupted as Whitfield was first to emerge from the water and into transition. But the lead was slim as he had many top contenders nipping at his heels including his own teammate Paul Tichelaar, pre-race favourite Javier Gomez and reigning European champion Frederic Belaubre of France.
With enormous Olympic implications at stake, eyes were on Australian Brendan Sexton, American Matt Reed, Russian Dmitry Polyansky and Canadians Kyle Jones and Brent McMahon in several fascinating races within a race.
Close to 50 men cycled in the lead group for most of the 40-kilometer bike course. In that group were several of the major players including Whitfield, Gomez, Belaubre, Reed, Reto Hug and Bevan Docherty. The first chase pack was down by almost a minute midway through the bike but continued to lose time. By the time they rode into transition, the chase was down by almost two full minutes. The situation was worse for the second chase group who came into T2 more than five behind the leaders.
As the men hit the streets of Vancouver, the world championship was still very much up for grabs. After the first of three laps, the class of the field began to emerge with Gomez, Whitfield and Docherty pushing the pace the front. It was on the second lap the Spaniard began to challenge the other men with his usual blistering run speed. Gomez opened up a 15-second lead on Docherty and Hug with Whitfield and the rest of the field. From there it was smooth sailing for Gomez as he cruised to the finish line savouring his first elite world title. He becomes the first athlete in ITU history to hold both elite and under23 world championships.
Docherty proved once again he’s a clutch performer by taking the silver. Hug, a silver medalist from 2005, held on for the bronze while South African Hendrik DeVilliers came across for fourth place. In another thrilling sprint finish, American Matt Reed edged out Whitfield for fifth place.
Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships, Canada
Elite Men – Official Results
1.5km swim, 40km swim, 10km run
Gold – Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:49:48
Silver – Bevan Docherty (NZL) 1:50:12
Bronze – Reto Hug (SUI) 1:50:17
4th – Hendrik de Villiers (RSA) 1:50:18
5th – Matthew Reed (USA) 1:50:27
6th – Simon Whitfield (CAN) 1:50:27
7th – Igor Sysoev (RUS) 1:50:28
8th – Tony Moulai (FRA) 1:50:31
9th – Paul Tichelaar (CAN) 1:50:32
10th – Ivan Vasiliev (RUS) 1:50:34
Click here for official full field results
Find more details about this event - 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships