It came down to another sprint finish, and this time it was in the men’s race at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Seoul in Korea.
After a huge throng of 50 plus athletes stayed together for the virtually the entire bike ride, it was clear that the race would be decided on the run. Australia’s Courtney Atkinson led the way out of T2 and set a blistering pace, however, by the end of lap 1 (of 4) Germany’s Jan Frodeno pulled alongside. They would trade the lead several times, using each other to further quicken the pace and widen the gap between them and their chasers.
“Courtney went out really hard on the run and it was tough to catch up to him out of transition,” said Frodeno to the ITU Media. “When I finally did, we started working together very well and were able to build a nice gap on the rest of the guys.”
Entering the finishing chute Atkinson attempted to break away from Frodeno but the Beijing Olympic Champion flicked the switch into overdrive and just like his Olympic gold winning performance, powered past the Australian for the win. Both men posted staggering 10 km run times of 29:08. Unable to bridge the gap to the front two, Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) held onto third.
“I just wanted to hold on until the finish line,” said Frodeno. “I had a bit of confidence in my sprint. It was a nice long finishing straight which really played into my favour.”
Victoria’s Simon Whitfield overcame a few flat tires on the bike ride, but dropped out of the race after the first lap of the run due to cramping.
“Cramped in right leg, then really cramped,” said Whitfield on his blog. “Then spazzing right hip flexor then hopping, then game over, limped home.”
Elite Men Top Ten
1. Jan Frodeno (GER) 1:51:49
2. Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 1:51:49
3. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 1:52:17
4. Steffen Justus (GER) 1:52:21
5. Alexander Brukhankov (RUS) 1:52:28
6. Dmitry Polyansky (RUS) 1:52:34
7. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 1:52:39
8. Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) 1:52:43
9. Reto Hug (SUI) 1:52:43
10. William Clarke (GBR) 1:52:54
Full results here.