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Darmon, Szakaly Win Tiszaujvaros ETU Junior European Cup

Elite Women and Men race tomorrow.

Over 60 top Junior triathletes took part in the Tiszaujvaros ETU Triathlon European Cup in Hungary, one day ahead of the 14th running of the Tiszaujvaros World Cup. Because of the narrow swim venue in the centre of the city, the race began with a short run and bike before the athletes dove into the pond for the swim. This allowed the athletes to spread out before starting the 750-metre swim. Competitors then completed another short bike and run to finish the race. In the end, racers completed a sprint-distance triathlon using five segments and four transitions (2.5K run, 10K bike, 750-metre swim, 10K bike, 2.5K run).

Eighteen-year-old Ron Darmon of Israel took home the men’s title, finishing the race in 53:33. Darmon combined the second-fastest swim of the day (8:56) with the fastest final run segment (7:04) to finish 11 seconds ahead of runner up Gabor Hanko of Hungary. Hanko will also compete in the first-ever Youth Olympic Games Triathlon in Singapore on in just eight days.

“I was very excited when I found out I would be representing Hungary in the Youth Olympic Games,” Hanko said. “To be able to represent my country in an event this big is a big honour. I think Singapore will be a lot of fun.”

Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle led the majority of the women’s race, but she couldn’t hold off the finishing kick from Hungary’s Zsofia Szakaly, who won in 1:00:10. Szakaly’s final run-split of 7:36 was the best run of the day by 30 seconds. Gentle finished just three seconds behind. Eszter Dudas, also of Hungary, rounded out the podium, finishing 16 seconds after Gentle. Like Hanko, Dudas will also represent Hungary at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.

“I’ve been looking forward to the Youth Olympic Games for a long time,” Dudas said. “To represent my country at in an Olympic event is a dream come true. I think the competition will be very strong in Singapore, which should make for an exciting race.”

The triathlon events at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games will be held in Singapore’s East Coast Park, the largest and most popular of Singapore’s public beaches. The women’s event will take place on the first day of the Games, at 9am on 15 August. As the opening event of the games, the winner of the women’s contest will be awarded the first-ever Youth Olympic Games gold medal. The men’s race will take place on the following day, 16 August. Athletes competing in both the men’s and women’s races will complete a sprint-distance triathlon (750-metre swim, 20K bike, 5K run).

A 4 x mixed relay triathlon will take place on 19 August, marking the first time the format has been featured at a Major Games. Teams will be made up of two women and two men from each continent. Each of the four participants in the relay will compete a 250-metre swim, 7K bike and 1.7K run before tagging a team member to begin the next segment.

Yesterday, with one week to go before the opening of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the International Triathlon Union announced the Youth Men and Women’s Triathlon starting grids, welcoming 32 men and 32 women from 42 nations from six continents. The athletes’ start numbers were decided by a draw attended by Olympic champions Simon Whitfield (CAN), Jan Frodeno (GER) and Emma Snowsill (AUS).

Also participating in the draw were Emma Moffatt (AUS), Emmie Charayron (FRA), Mariko Adachi (JPN), Sarah Haskins (USA), Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), Bevan Docherty (NZL), and Jarrod Shoemaker (USA). ITU recently released a video clip of the draw, which is available on triathlon.org as well as on YouTube. A complete list of the start numbers is on triathlon.org (Click to see Women’s Start List / Men’s Start List).

Top 5 Junior Men

1. Ron Darmon (ISR) 53:33

2. Gabor Hank (HUN) 53:44

3. Rudolf Naude (RSA) 53:51

4. Mate Balogh (HUN) 53:52

5. Benjamin Shaw (IRL) 54:34

Top 5 Junior Women

1. Zsofia Szakaly (HUN) 1:00:10

2. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 1:00:13

3. Eszter Dudas (HUN) 1:00:29

4. Anna Takacs (HUN) 1:00:32

5. Katarina Ogrin (SLO) 1:01:23