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Brownlee and Norden win inaugural ITU Sprint Triathlon World Titles

Team World Championships go tomorrow.

Twenty-year-old Brit Jonathan Brownlee took home top honours at the first-ever ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championship, earning the first world title of his young career. It makes four ITU World Championships in the Brownlee household, as older brother Alistair has earned world titles in the Junior, U-23 and Elite categories. The younger Brownlee topped veteran teammate Tim Don in Lausanne this morning, finishing 12 seconds ahead.

“I guess I’m lucky because I raced as a Junior last year, and Juniors race the sprint distance,” Brownlee said. “I think I have a bit more experience at this kind of race than a lot of these guys and that helped today.”

Don, who has previously won world championships in Lausanne in the Junior and Elite categories, completed the one-two British punch, finishing five seconds ahead of Frenchman David Hauss.

“There’s something about Lausanne that makes it a special place for me,” Don said. When I won the Junior world title here in 1999, it really set up my career and made me believe in myself. This is one of my favourite places to race.”

Seventy-three men dove into the 21-degree water of Lake Geneva to kick things off, and after just over nine minutes in the Lake, Canada’s Andrew McCartney led the way out of the swim. He was joined by a group of five men, including Brownlee.

“That was one of the hardest swims I’ve ever done,” Brownlee said. “Everyone was pushing really hard from the start.”

Onto the hilly and technical four-lap bike course, Brownlee led a break of five men on the first lap. As the group of five headed onto lap two, they had a 15-second advantage on the big chase group, led by Greg Bennett (ITU) and Cameron Dye (USA). The chase pack was able to catch the leaders on the second lap, thanks in large part to the strong riding of Dye and Bennett.

After a hard 20K of riding, a group of over 50 men rolled into the second transition together, leaving the race to the fastest 5K run. It was clear early on that the run would come down to Brownlee and Don, as the pair pulled away on the first of two run laps, with Hauss and Aussie Brad Kahlefeldt giving chase.

Brownlee pulled away from his countryman as he started the final 2.5K lap, and cruised to the win in 52:58, with Don hitting the finish line 12 seconds later. Hauss put the exclamation point on the best year of his career, finishing third in 53:16.

“I’m very happy with third place today,” Hauss said. “The level of intensity was really high today. It was difficult to hang on, and I’m so glad I was able to make the podium.”

Rounding out the top five was Kahlefeldt (4th) and Aussie teammate Dan Wilson (5th).

The weekend of racing will wrap up with the Team Triathlon World Championship at 2:30 p.m. local time tomorrow (Sunday). The 2009 ITU Team Triathlon World Championship was hosted by Hy-Vee in Des Moines, Iowa, alongside the prestigious Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup, with the Swiss Team taking home top honours, topping Australia by only eight seconds. Team Canada rounded out the podium. Twenty relays represnting 17 countries will contest this year’s Team championship, with Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand fielding two squads.

ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championship

Lausanne, Switzerland – August 21, 2010

750-metre swim, 20K bike, 5K run

Elite Men Results

1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) 52:58

2. Tim Don (GBR) 53:11

3. David Hauss (FRA) 53:16

4. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 53:20

5. Dan Wilson (AUS) 53:26

6. Gregor Buchholz (GER) 53:27

7. Bryan Keane (IRL) 53:33

8. Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 53:38

9. Sven Riederer (SUI) 53:42

10. Franz Loeschke (GER) 53:44

21. Andrew Yorke (CAN) 54:09

44. Andrew McCartney (CAN) 56:31

62. Jeffrey Phillips (CAN) 1:01:17

A few hours after the men’s race, Sweden’s Lisa Norden continued her brilliant 2010 season, earning the first-ever ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championship in Lausanne today. Norden won with a last-lap surge to top current world number one Emma Moffatt of Australia.

“I was quite relaxed going into the race today. I tried not to think about it being a world championship,” Norden said. “The race went perfect. I really wanted to test my legs on the run and, obviously, they felt great.”

Moffatt secured the runner-up position, holding off local favourite Daniela Ryf, who thrilled the Swiss crowd with a third-place showing.

“It was a real hard race today, but it was also a lot of fun to race this distance, and I think that helped take some of the hard out of it,” Moffatt said.

Fifty-six women dove into crystal clear Lake Geneva to start with race with a 750-metre swim. As she has done all season long, Moffatt moved right to the front at the start of the swim, leading a group of four women, including Norden, out of the water in just under 10 minutes.

Norden and Moffatt pulled away from the rest of the pack on the first of four challenging bike laps, as Ryf led the charge to catch the two leaders. Ryf broke away from the chase pack after only a few kilometres, and rode solo for most of the first lap to catch the two girls up the road. Her hard riding paid off, as Ryf caught Moffatt and Norden and the new lead group of three worked together to pull away from the rest of the women. By the time the lead three hit the second transition, their lead was just over a minute, as the chase group, led by Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig, struggled to keep pace.

Out of transition, Moffatt and Norden immediately pulled away from Ryf, running side by side for the first of two laps along the Lake Geneva waterfront. Norden put on a big surge with only one kilometre left to run and Moffatt could not respond. Norden ran down the finishing chute with plenty of time to celebrate the second ITU World Championship of her career. She previously won the 2007 U23 world title in Hamburg, Germany.

“The run was very intense today,” Norden said. “I’m used to racing twice this distance, so the run is more about pacing and getting into a rhythm. There was no time to get into a rhythm today-it was all out from the start.”

Norden’s winning time of 58:02 was 14 seconds better than runner-up Moffatt. Ryf rounded out the podium, finishing another 34 back of the Aussie.

“I’ve struggled a lot over the last couple of months and have had a hard time keeping my fitness up,” Ryf said. “Such a strong effort wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else today. It made such a difference to be in my home country and have the crowd on my side.”

Rounding out the top five were Aussies Erin Densham (4th) and Felicity Abram (5th), putting three Australians in the top five.

ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championship

750-metre swim, 20K bike, 5K run

Elite Women Results

1. Lisa Norden (SWE) 58:02

2. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 58:17

3. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 58:51

4. Erin Densham (AUS) 59:09

5. Felicity Abram (AUS) 59:17

6. Nicola Spirig (SUI) 59:24

7. Carole Peon (FRA) 59:31

8. Jodie Stimpson (GBR) 59:35

9. Nicky Samuels (NZL) 59:43

10. Anja Dittmer (GER) 59:45

44. Allison Hooper (CAN) 1:06:10