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Moffatt, Densham and Gentle only seconds off the win at ITU World Triathlon Yokohama

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Australia’s Erin Densham’s lead in the race for this year’s ITU Triathlon World Championship crown has been narrowed down to just 30 points after today’s second last round in Yokohama.

The three leading Australian women were pushing the pace on the run – Credit: Triathlon.org | Delly Carr / ITU

The fiercely determined London Olympic bronze medallist finished a gallant fifth to London silver medallist, Sweden’s Lisa Norden who fought tooth and nail to win a thriller from Germany’s Anne Haug and is hot on Densham’s hammer in the charge towards the title.

It was almost a replay of the Olympic finish, this time with six runners together until the closing stages and Norden, who lost in a head-dip to Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig in London, just edged out Haug in another dramatic finish.

Emerging Dutch star Caelers grabbed the bronze before the arrival of the brave Aussie contingent, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Emma Moffatt, Densham and our own rising star Ashleigh Gentle who were all courageous in their efforts to finish fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Densham will go into the ITU Grand Final decider in Auckland on October 20-21 on 3611 points, 30 points ahead of Norden with Spirig, who has not entered the grand final, sitting in third on 3264 followed by New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt (3141), Haug (3140) and 2009 and 2010 World Champion Moffatt (2856) rounding out the top six.

And despite her fearless finish for fifth, Densham was quick to admit she was more than happy with a performance which came in the middle of a hard training block, knowing she will arrive into New Zealand in three weeks fully tappered.

She also knows that the winner of this year’s crown will be decided between herself and Norden, with the Auckland grand final round holding double points.

Chilling out before the race – Credit: Triathlon.org | Delly Carr / ITU

“It was a tough race and then again it wasn’t…I was actually surprised none of the girls (in the lead pack) did any work on the bike what so ever and let the other girls (in the chase pack) back in the race…that was surprising,” said Densham, who will return home to again train with Jamie Turner’s NSWIS group in Wollongong in the lead-up to Auckland.

“But I was just glad to stay in the race for as long as I did and that showed some really encouraging signs going into Auckland. I have a lot to work on and there is only a short turn around but still time to nail a few things on the head. But overall I was actually feeling a lot better than I thought I would.

“At the half-way mark in the run I was happy to stay on for as long as I could and to give whatever I had left in the end.

“And to be quite truthful I am really, really happy with that performance today and I’m actually surprised to be going into Auckland in the number one position.

“I honestly didn’t think I would be able to hang on in the run for as long as I did. I haven’t got that race fitness at the moment but I am now really looking forward to Auckland.”

Today’s race came down to a group of six on the run and as long as the group ran shoulder to shoulder it was always going to be the long-striding Norden who would be the one to beat and with 300 metres to run it was the likeable Swede who in fact made her move.

Haug was quick to respond and Moffatt, who had shared the lead with Gentle over the final kilometre was caught off guard and had little in the tank to respond.

But after crashing out early in the bike leg in London, Moffatt’s confidence is back and she put herself well and truly in the race after languishing towards the tail of the bike pack coming into the T2 changeover from bike to run.

Moffatt leading on the run – Credit: Triathlon.org | Delly Carr / ITU

But within 250 metres Moffatt had surged and was in the top eight and determined to leave her London demons behind as she looked to mount her own kind of pressure.

And while Densham, like Moffatt, came out of the water well positioned in the top 10, it was Gentle who caught the eye with a courageous and well constructed bike leg after coming out of the water well back.

Haug and Gentle shared the duties in the chase pack and inside four of the eight bike laps, had caught the lead pack and it was the 21-year-old Gold Coaster who was near the lead coming into the T2.

Gentle, Moffatt’s training partner, and herself a long strider and one of the best runners in women’s triathlon, then proceeded to let the leaders know she had arrived, leading the group for several kilometres – only to feel the pinch of her energy-sapping bike ride as the leaders upped the ante in the closing stages.

Densham was full of praise for her Australian team mates, with Gentle pushing hard on the run and Moffatt returning from her disappointment of London.

“Ashleigh is a real up and comer and I was happy to see her push the pace and it was so good to see Moffy back…glad to see she’s put the disappointment of London behind her,” said Densham.

Felicity Abram finished 21st overall and not far off the pace with Felicity Sheedy-Ryan backing up from her recent ITU World Duathlon Championship win to finish 25th overall.

Pos Athlete Country Time Swim Bike Run
1 Lisa Norden SWE 1:59:07 0:19:45 1:04:48 0:33:21
2 Anne Haug GER 1:59:07 0:20:54 1:03:42 0:33:26
3 Maaike Caelers NED 1:59:12 0:20:53 1:03:41 0:33:26
4 Emma Moffatt AUS 1:59:17 0:19:40 1:04:56 0:33:24
5 Erin Densham AUS 1:59:22 0:19:47 1:04:49 0:33:35
6 Ashleigh Gentle AUS 1:59:26 0:20:54 1:03:40 0:33:40
7 Sarah Groff USA 1:59:36 0:19:37 1:05:01 0:33:45
8 Gwen Jorgensen USA 1:59:56 0:19:53 1:04:45 0:34:01
9 Barbara Riveros Diaz CHI 2:00:22 0:20:50 1:03:42 0:34:36
10 Gillian Sanders RSA 2:00:29 0:20:52 1:03:47 0:34:35
11 Andrea Hewitt NZL 2:00:42 0:19:44 1:04:49 0:34:52
12 Kate McIlroy NZL 2:00:48 0:19:47 1:04:47 0:35:00
13 Yuko Takahashi JPN 2:00:51 0:19:50 1:04:46 0:35:06
14 Aileen Morrison IRL 2:00:55 0:19:42 1:04:53 0:35:04
15 Kiyomi Niwata JPN 2:00:57 0:19:50 1:04:41 0:35:06
16 Maria Czesnik POL 2:01:10 0:20:51 1:03:41 0:35:20
17 Yuka Sato JPN 2:01:14 0:19:44 1:04:48 0:35:22
18 Jodie Stimpson GBR 2:01:15 0:19:48 1:06:05 0:34:08
19 Svenja Bazlen GER 2:01:16 0:19:47 1:04:46 0:35:28
20 Mariko Adachi JPN 2:01:18 0:19:53 1:04:38 0:35:31
21 Felicity Abram AUS 2:01:40 0:19:53 1:04:47 0:35:46
22 Ai Ueda JPN 2:01:51 0:21:25 1:04:23 0:34:44
23 Rachel Klamer NED 2:02:07 0:19:36 1:04:56 0:36:21
24 Juri Ide JPN 2:02:17 0:19:55 1:04:38 0:36:28
25 Felicity Sheedy-Ryan AUS 2:02:37 0:21:29 1:04:24 0:35:29
26 Hideko Kikuchi JPN 2:04:29 0:20:52 1:03:46 0:38:36
27 Celine Schaerer SUI 2:04:34 0:19:52 1:04:43 0:38:42
28 Ricarda Lisk GER 2:06:18 0:20:53 1:03:46 0:40:26
DNF Anja Dittmer GER 0:00:00 0:19:52 1:04:41 0:00:00
DNF Tomoko Sakimoto JPN 0:00:00 0:19:49 1:04:49 0:00:00
DNF Vicky Holland GBR 0:00:00 0:19:50 1:04:45 0:00:00

Issued on behalf of Triathlon Australia.

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

European dominance of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona has continued but not as the pre-race script had been written.

While Switzerland’s “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made it three Kona victories, it was not defending champion Jan Frodeno’s day, with the men’s championship title transferring to fellow countryman Patrick Lange.

Coming from a nine-minute deficit off the bike, Lange revelled in near perfect conditions to write himself into the IRONMAN history books to destroy the course record set in 2011 by Australian Craig Alexander, with a 2:39:59 marathon that helped deliver a total race time of 8:01:40.

In a record-breaking day, Aussie Cameron Wurf won the battle of the bikers taking control of the race at the 110km mark and leading into the bike/run transition to set a new bike course record of 4:12:54, more than five minutes faster than Normann Stadler’s 2006 record.

Wurf surrendered his lead early on in the run, as Lionel Sanders (CAN and Sebastian Kienle (GER) made their presence felt, but very quickly all eyes turned to a charging Patrick Lange who had moved into third at 21km of the marathon intent on reducing the six-minute deficit to the leading Sanders.

Lange was on a mission and keen to improve on his third place last year and with 5km to go on the run he flew past Sanders, heading for town and the adoring crowd lining the run course and the finish line on Ali’i Drive.

“It’s everything I ever dreamed of. Oh, my god, I cannot believe it,” Lange said. “I always, always, always since I was a child dreamed of having this crown. From time to time you think someone is hitting with a baseball beneath your knees and you just want to drop out. I had to fight, I had to fight so hard,” Lange said at the finish line.

A fading Sanders managed to hold off the hard-charging David McNamee (GBR) for second with Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) crossing the finish to take fourth and fifth.

Swiss miss Daniela Ryf joined an exclusive club at the IRONMAN World Championships, recording her third win in Kona with a very skilful and strategic victory that while remarkably effective, lacked her usual flair and total dominance.

Ryf didn’t have it all her way, with Lucy Charles dominating the swim and majority of the bike before Ryf decided that enough was enough. Ryf wrestled the lead off the Brit and charged home with the fastest run of the day, putting a nine-minute gap to her chasers by the end of the 42.2km run.

“It was the hardest I had to ever fight for the win. I’m so happy to turn it around today,” a more emotional than usual Ryf said at the finish line.

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Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) earned championship titles with momentous performances today at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lange passed Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the final three miles, clocking in at 8:01:40 and establishing a new course record (formerly 8:03:56 by Craig Alexander, 2011). Ryf earned her third consecutive crown with a time of 8:50:47, joining an exclusive “three-peat” winners’ circle alongside the newest IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Over 2,350 athletes from 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents started the IRONMAN World Championship race on the Island of Hawai`i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lange, who raced in only his fourth IRONMAN to-date, had an incredible ascension after having been 17th out of the swim in today’s race. Shortly after the swim, a pack of strong cyclists including Sanders, Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) broke away from the group. Wurf would sail into T2, shattering the 2006 bike course record held by Normann Stadler (4:18:23) with a 4:12:54 split. Sanders and Kienle also smashed the record with 4:14:19 and 4:14:57 split times, respectively. On the run, Sanders took a quick lead as Kienle fell into second. Meanwhile, Lange moved from 11th place to a steady third-place position by the half-marathon marker. Lange then made a decisive pass at mile 23 on the run, as he moved ahead of Sanders to take a hold of the lead, finishing strong in first place. With a 2:39:59 run split, he was only 14 seconds away from breaking the run course record he set last year (2:39:45).

Sanders hung on for second place, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:04:07. David McNamee (GBR), Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) rounded out the top five.

McNamee had the second fastest run split of the race with 2:45:30, helping him clinch a third-place podium finish by more than two minutes ahead of Kienle.

Defending champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno dug deep after back spasms slowed him first to a complete stop and then run/walk pace, mustering enough strength to finish the race.

Lucy Charles (GBR) led the professional women out of the water with a 48:48 split, missing the course record by only five seconds. After a speedy transition, Charles took the lead on the bike and had an approximately a five-and-a-half-minute lead over defending champ Daniela Ryf (CHE), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Annabel Luxford (AUS). This pace remained consistent down the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway until Ryf attacked, making up over five minutes over the final 25 miles of the bike, which positioned her at the front of the pack. Ryf then greatly extended her lead on the run, with Charles, Crowley and Heather Jackson (USA), fighting for the remaining podium positions.

Lucy Charles of Great Britain cools down during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Ryf took first at 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her own 2016 course record time of 8:46:46. Calling on her epic running abilities, the Swiss star claimed her third successive IRONMAN World Championship victory.

Charles, a Kona rookie, maintained her second-place position throughout most of the run and ultimately to the finish. Crowley rounded out the top three in her second-ever appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship, finishing her race exactly two minutes behind Charles. Jackson and Kaisa Sali (FIN) rounded out the top five women.

 

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017

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It’s never an easy day out when racing any Ironman race let alone the World Championship. Then add in some hot and humid weather and you really have a very tough set of conditions.

Here are some of the amazing images that were captured during today’s race.

Lucy Charles trying to remain as cool as possible during the run leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lionel Sanders of Canada runs through an aid station and takes on extra fluids and also trying to cool himself. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany celebrates before crossing the finish line to win the IRONMAN World Championship and setting a course record of 8:01.39 beating Craig Alexander’s 2011 record of 8:03.56. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Age group athletes out on the run course. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

John Joseph McGowan of the United States showing us his guns and ink work. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Unfortunately Jan Frodeno of Germany wasn’t able to really defend his title today due to an injury. He eventually finishes 35th. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

The sun sets on Kailua Kona, Hawaii and competitors continue their journey for their personal success. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Daniela Ryf nearly the final few kilometres during the Ironman World Championship 2017, (Photo: Jesper Gronnemark/Red Bull Content Pool)

Kaisa Sali of Finland celebrates in the finish chute after finishing fifth during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Runners compete as the sun sets in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain runs through the barren landscape and eventually to coming 2nd. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017

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With the backdrop of the most infamous course in the world, the Ironman World Championship bike course never misses by the providing the most amazing landscapes for the bike course. This year was nothing short of spectacular.

Igor Amorelli of Brazil on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Martin Fredriksson of Sweden leads a pack on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michael Weiss of Austria feeling the hurt during the bike leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Jocelyn Mccauley of the United States competes on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

A cyclist leaves the transition area with her bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

KAILUA KONA, HI – OCTOBER 14: A cyclist competes during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain showed how strong her bike leg was during today’s Ironman World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Thomas Gentry McGrath of the United States cools down with water during today’s World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michelle Alexander from Denver holds up an ‘IRONMAN are sexy’ sign as athletes cycle past. She certainly brought some smiles. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Cameron Wurf of Australia cycles ahead of Lionel Sanders of Canada during the bike leg of today’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Cameron would go on to set a new bike course record. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Beats Sanders by a Hair for the Win & New Record

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Patrick Lange of Germany celebrates afer winning the IRONMAN World Championship and setting a course record of 8:01.39. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

The results are in. The 2015 and 2016 winner of the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, Jan Frodeno, suffered an injury early in the run today. This is when the world turned its eyes to Lionel Sanders of Canada, who led most of the race. That is, until the final few kilometres, when Germany’s Patrick Lange took the lead, setting a new world record of 8:01:39.

Lange came in 3rd place in the 2016 championship, following Frodeno and Sebastian Kienle, both from Germany.

As of this writing, 2015 and 2016 women’s winner Daniela Ryf is leading the women with 14km to go with Britain’s Lucy Charles behind her. This is Charles’ first Kona championship as a professional.

Sanders came in 14th and 29th place in the 2015 and 2016 races, respectively. Today was his first time making the top 10 in Kona. Earlier this year, Sanders announced that he would not compete in Kona. Later, he had a change of heart.

2017 has been a good year for Sanders. He competed in August’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship, and a few Ironman 70.3’s. He won every race except the St. George 70.3, where he came in 2nd place.

Trizone predicted that Sanders would do well this year. After losing Kona in 2016, he decided to take this year’s championship very seriously. Sanders has been the wild card of the race.

Congratulations to Lange and Ryf, and to Sanders for his unexpected near-win.

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Ironman World Championship: Are We Stuck with Jan Frodeno & Daniela Ryf in Hawaii Again?

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Daniela Ryf performs at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona Hawaii, USA on October 8, 2016

It’s time again for another Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The triathletes have already arrived on the Big Island, and sports news sites are speculating about who’s going to interrupt the winning streaks of Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf.

Frodeno & Ryf Are Each Going for their 3rd Consecutive Kona Win

Both Frodeno and Ryf were the winners of the 2015 and 2016 races. Frodeno pulled ahead of Germany’s Sebastian Kienle by 3:32 in 2016 and Andreas Raelert, also from Germany, by 3:03 in 2015. In the 2016 women’s race, Ryf led Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae by 23:44. She beat Britain’s Rachel Joyce by 13:02 in 2015.

Most of Ryf’s Rivals Dropped Out

Many of Ryf’s past competitors are not competing this year. Carfrae has a newborn baby. Canada’s Heather Wurtele, who opted out of this race, came in 3rd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, leaving Ryf in 4th. The winner of that race was Holly Lawrence of Britain, who is also not competing this year.

Ryf’s Competition Could Still Be Fierce

The three rivals for Ryf to look out for are Heather Jackson of the USA, Rachel Joyce of Britain, and Melissa Hauschildt of Australia. Hauschildt made 2nd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and Ryf finished behind her by 3:00 to land 4th Place.

In the 2013 70.3, Jackson won 2nd place, losing to Hauschildt by 5:12. Ryf came in 6th, finishing 3:27 behind Jackson.

Who Should Frodeno Be Afraid Of?

The conversation around Jan Frodeno centres around two other German guys, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange. Kienle won the 2014 Hawaii championship. Frodeno settled for 3rd place and followed behind Kienle with 8:20:32 vs 8:14:18. USA’s Ben Hoffman came in 2nd place.

These are the guys Frodeno has to worry about most.

Frodeno’s Possible Wild Card Nemesis

Another contender who could give Frodeno a run for his money is Lionel Sanders of Canada. He won 11 out of 11 races in 2013 and has won a lot of them since. Sanders, who almost skipped this year in favour of the 70.3 World Championship, missed the top 10 in Kona for the past two years in a row. He said he did not take the championship seriously in 2016, and he vows to do better this year.

Sanders is known for rapid improvement and the ability to surprise people with wins in the races he truly sets his mind to winning. He’s also known for performing below expectations now and then. Rest assured, he’s serious about Kona this time. He would not have signed up otherwise.

This May Not Be Totally Boring After All

Well, this is the data. We can leave it up to the reader to decide who will win Hawaii’s Ironman.

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