The 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago officially kicked off Thursday morning with the Junior and Under23 men’s World Champion being crowned, as well as Age GroupSprint Distance World Titles. Uacob Birtwhistle put Australia on the medal tally with a win in the men’s U23 race, while Manoel Messias scored Brazil its first ever Junior World Championship title.
Under 23 Men’s Review
In the men’s U23 race, Jacob Birtwhistle tallied one title for the Australian nation as he was victorious in the first triathlon race of the Grand Final event.
Birtwhistle demonstrated leadership throughout the three disciplines, as one of the top men on each leg of the triathlon. In the last lap of the run, he separated himself from a five-man front pack to ultimately win the race and take home the World Champion honour. Coming across the finish line to stake out the remaining two spots on the podium was Spanish compatriots David Castro Fajardo with silver and Nan Oliveras with bronze.
After the silver medal last year in the juniors I was pretty devastated; I wanted to redeem myself so to speak. I wanted nothing but gold today, so I am really happy to have it and take away the win,â€ Birtwhistle said. â€œIt has been a pretty good year for me, there has been some ups and definitely some downs in my first year racing the WTS circuit. I have had some really good races and some not too good ones. I was happy to start off the season really well domestically in Australia and Oceania and now finish off really well in the Worlds.â€
Not until the last kilometre did the podium seem to work itself out as five men raced step for step including the USA’s Kevin McDowell and Great Britain’s Gordon Benson. Birtwhistle kicked in a last burst of energy to sprint ahead and run into the finish line solo and claim his World Championship crown. A crown that hopefully will add an extra boost of confidence as he is also set to compete in the elite men’s race on Saturday, as well.
Castro came onto the carpet 14 seconds later to finish out the race with a silver medal.
â€œI’m really happy with the Spanish selection, we see Javier, Mario and Alonzo as motivators, Castro said of being part of the strong Spanish men’s team. The last lap was crazy. It was attack, attack, attack. To come second, it’s amazing.
The Spanish team was especially strong today as Oliveras was able to take home the bronze medal and give Spain two medals to its total.
Men’s Under23 Results
|2.||David Castro Fajardo||ESP||01:41:05|
|7.||Juan Jose Andrade Figueroa||ECU||01:42:09|
|9.||Christophe De Keyser||BEL||01:42:27|
Men’s Junior Review
When thunderstorms caused the men’s 2015 ITU World Championship men’s junior race to be delayed and shifted to a duathlon, Manoel Messias (BRA) seized the opportunity to strike hot, scoring his first world title in Chicago. The title is the first time Brazil was represented on the top of the podium at the Junior World Championship race.
In a feisty battle down the finish cute, Messias shot past Germany’s Peer Sonksen and France’s Leo Bergere, who took second and third, respectively. When the course changed from a sprint triathlon to a two-lap 5km run, four-lap 20km bike and one-lap 2.5km run, more than 65 men started their hunt for one world title in front of Buckingham Fountain.
After a large group came into T1 together, the group dwindled down to 14 after the bike, but it was a decisive final run that changed the race. Coming around the Fountain for the final time, it looked like Sonksen would be crowned the fastest man of the day, but Messias managed to kick up his velocity in the final metres, scorching past the German just in time to claim the top honours with a roaring scream. Sonksen and Bergere both joined Messias in rounding out the top three for their first World Championship podiums.
|4.||Roberto Sanchez Mantecon||ESP||00:52:08|
Age Group Review
Representing more than 40 nations, nearly 2000 age group athletes pushed themselves to the limits in search of ITU Age Group Sprint World Championship titles on Thursday. Set in iconic downtown Chicago, athletes raced the Windy CityÂ streets, twisting around historic Buckingham Fountain with views of Chicago’sÂ skyline, it was a race theÂ incredible athletes won’tÂ soon forget.
A wide range of athletes from all across the globe competed, including some noteworthy athletes. Landon Cassill (USA) is a professional NASCAR driver and raced in the men’s 25-29 age group category. While the oldest World Champion of the day was crowned with 90 year old Robert Mckeague (USA).
Australian Sprint Podium Results
3rd Jo Ryn Tan
1st Kate Bramley
2nd Shari-ann Livingston
2nd Craig Davis
2nd Sally Musgrove
2nd Jane Mountford
1st Robert Pickard
1st Stephen Parnell