Blummenfelt Sprints to Triathlon Gold in Epic Duel

Norway's Kristian Blummenfeltclaimed the Olympic men's triathlon gold medal after surging ahead in the final stretch to win a thrilling three-way battle against Britain's Alex Yee and New Zealand's Hayden Wilde.

Blummenfelt Sprints to Triathlon Gold in Epic Duel
Photo: Getty Images

After a false start to the race, Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt won the men's triathlon Olympic gold medal following an intense three-way battle for the title at the Tokyo Games.

The Norwegian powerhouse, who was in fifth position after the 1,500m swim and 40km cycle legs, finished in a time of one hour, 45 minutes and four seconds. He made a decisive move in the final stretch of the 10km run to pull away from Britain's Alex Yee and New Zealand's Hayden Wilde.

Blummenfelt's dramatic come-from-behind win gives Norway its first Olympic gold medal since the London 2012 Games, when Norwegian athletes won gold in handball and canoe sprint.

Yee claimed the silver medal in the swim-bike-run event, earning Great Britain's sixth Olympic medal in triathlon. Wilde secured the bronze, giving New Zealand its first medal of the Tokyo Games.

Blummenfelt said he felt confident he could win gold when he "was standing on the pontoon ready to go." He engaged in an epic battle with world champion Yee and Wilde over the last two laps of the run after starting the leg 23 seconds behind the leader.

Sharing the lead with Yee with 2.5km remaining, Blummenfelt made his move at the 5-minute mark, surging ahead to gap Yee and Wilde. He maintained his lead to the finish line, crossing 11 seconds ahead of Yee in a time of 1:45:15.

After triumphantly breaking through the ribbon at Odaiba Marine Park, Blummenfelt fell dramatically to the floor in exhilaration and exhaustion, letting out a roar before collapsing. "I wanted a medal, obviously I preferred the gold medal, everything else I would have been disappointed with," said the 27-year-old.

The absence of defending champion Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain meant the triathlon was the most open in a decade. His brother Jonathan was hoping to keep the title in the family but faded to finish fifth after leading during the earlier stages. He confirmed afterward that this would be his final Olympics.

American Kevin McDowell finished sixth, Hungary's Bicsak Bence was seventh, and Blummenfelt's Norwegian teammate Gustav Iden took eighth place.