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She’s back! Lucy Charles-Barclay storms to the World Long-Distance title

After losing much of 2022 to injury, British star surges back with a world-championship win

Photo by: World Triathlon

If there were any question about how long it might take Lucy Charles-Barclay to get back to race fitness, those were dispelled today at the World Triathlon Long Distance Championships Samorin as the British star returned to racing with a brilliant win by over three minutes over countrywoman Emma Pallant-Browne. Rounding out the podium was last year’s winner, Sarissa de Vries (NED).

It was hardly a surprise to see Charles-Barclay lead the way out of the 2 km swim in the Danube River next to the x-bionicsphere – Slovakia’s sporting paradise that hosted a huge weekend of racing including yesterday’s Collins Cup and Thursday’s World Aquathlon Championship.

Related: Findlay and Sanders win their matches at the Collins Cup

After an injury sidelined her and prevented the three-time Kona runner up from returning to St. George in the hunt of another world title (Charles-Barclay won the 70.3 world title in Utah last year), it was easy to imagine that Charles-Barclay might not be in spectacular form as she returned to racing. Nothing could be further from the truth – after leading the way out of the water by over a minute (New Zealand’s Rebecca Clarke was second out), Charles Barclay led for much of the bike, other than a few brief stints where de Vries moved ahead. The pair hit T2 a few seconds apart, with Pallant-Browne and France’s Marjolaine Pierre about three minutes behind.

Once on the run, though, the normally quick-running Pierre quickly started to lose ground – likely the victim of pushing too hard on the bike. Pallant-Browne initially gained some ground, but by the time she’d moved ahead of de Vries into second, Charles-Barclay had found another gear and started to open up time.

In the end Charles-Barclay would add the day’s fastest run to her fastest swim split, hitting the line in 3:34:17. Pallant-Browne would take the silver medal (3:37:29), with de Vries hanging on for third (just – Aussie Grace Thek got to within 16 seconds by the finish line). Brazil’s Luisa Baptista had the day’s fastest run (1:04:09) to mover herself up to fifth (3:41:02), while Pierre would fade to sixth (3:43:10).

(For those keen to compare times from yesterday’s Collins Cup, today’s race took place in a very wavy Danube, while yesterday’s event took place in a very calm canal next to the x-bionicsphere.)

Le Corre runs to the men’s title

Last year’s Challenge Championship winner here at the x-bionicsphere, Florian Angert, couldn’t keep the magic going – after leading off the bike he was caught on the run by France’s Pierre le Corre, fresh off a silver-medal performance at last week’s European Championships. The Frenchman ran to an impressive 3:11:15 clocking, 2:14 up on Germany’s Angert and 4:25 ahead of bronze-medalist (and fellow German) Frederic Funk.

You can find the results from the Multisport World Championships here.