Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) and Manoel Messias (BRA) take home ITU Under23 and Junior World Championship titles in Chicago

Photo Credit: Janos M Schmidt / ITU Media

Chicago, USAThe 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.

Photo Credit: Janos M Schmidt / ITU Media

Photo Credit: Janos M Schmidt / ITU Media

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,” Birtwhistle said. “It 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.”

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.

“I’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

1. Jacob Birtwhistle AUS AU 01:40:51
2. David Castro Fajardo ESP ES 01:41:05
3. Nan Oliveras ESP ES 01:41:15
4. Kevin Mcdowell USA US 01:41:38
5. Gordon Benson GBR GB 01:41:56
6. Russell Pennock CAN CA 01:42:04
7. Juan Jose Andrade Figueroa ECU EC 01:42:09
8. Alexis Lepage CAN CA 01:42:18
9. Christophe De Keyser BEL BE 01:42:27
10. Shachar Sagiv ISR IL 01:42:31

Full results here

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.
Click here for the full review

Junior Men

1. Manoel Messias BRA BR 00:51:50
2. Peer Sönksen GER DE 00:51:51
3. Léo Bergere FRA FR 00:52:01
4. Roberto Sanchez Mantecon ESP ES 00:52:08
5. Matthew Hauser AUS AU 00:52:10
6. Luke Willian AUS AU 00:52:12
7. Gustav Iden NOR NO 00:52:16
8. Ben Dijkstra GBR GB 00:52:20
9. Charles Paquet CAN CA 00:52:24
10. Gabriel Sandör SWE SE 00:52:32
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 City streets, twisting around historic Buckingham Fountain with views of Chicago’s skyline, it was a race the incredible athletes won’t 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). Click here for the full review
Click here for full results


Australian Sprint Podium Results

Womens 20-24
3rd Jo Ryn Tan

Womens 25-29
1st Kate Bramley
2nd Shari-ann Livingston

Mens 25-29
2nd Craig Davis

Womens 50-54
2nd Sally Musgrove

Womens 65-69
2nd Jane Mountford

Mens 65-69
1st Robert Pickard

Mens 70-74
1st Stephen Parnell




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