Russian Valentin Meshcheryakov claimed his first World Cup title on Sunday in Ishigaki with a time of 1:54:02. Japan’s Yuichi Hosoda also secured his first World Cup podium, finishing just five seconds back. Ryosuke Yamamoto rounded out the podium.
After a tight swim, a big lead pack of 24 men came together on the bike. Aussie Clayton Fettell managed a big escape from the pack on the fifth lap of the bike and started the run with a two-minute advantage on the field.
Onto the run, a chase group including Meshcheryakov, Hosodo, Yamamoto, David Dellow (AUS) and Manuel Huerta (USA) set off at a fast pace, with fresh legs thanks to being able to sit in the pack on the bike. The chase pack had no problems catching Fettell, and heading into the final lap, Meshcheryakov, Hosoda, Yamamoto were running side by side. In the end, no man could match Meshcheryakov’s leg speed, and the Russian pulled away in the final stretch to secure his first World Cup title.
“I’m really satisfied with my results. It’s my first podium and I’m very happy about this,” said Meshcheryakov. “I didn’t believe that I could catch the leader until the end of the race, but I did that and I am very happy.”
“I’m very excited because it’s my first podium ever, and it’s my home turf” said Hosoda. “I think the cheers from my home-country supporters was the power for me to get on the podium today.”
ITU Triathlon World Cup Ishigaki is the longest running ITU World Cup event celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The Island becomes a triathlon mecca in Japan’s triathlon scene during race weekend, drawing over 1,700 age-group triathletes from all over the region. It is the largest triathlon festival in Japan and has helped establish Ishigaki as a Japanese sporting hub.