At the ITU World Cup event in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Javier Gomez (ESP) made an impressive return to short course racing with a fifth-place finish. Australian Luke Willian took the win ahead of Justus Nieschlag (GER) and Sam Ward (NZL).

Following the race, in an interview with ITU Media, Willian recapped his race-winning move on the run:

“I started out in front and kept going and didn’t look back. I saw on the first lap that I had a bit of a gap and it kept getting bit bigger every time I checked so there was a lot of confidence there. I saw at the top of the hill that I had it and could really enjoy it and soak it up.”

After a solid finish at ITU World Cup New Plymouth, Gomez will continue his progress towards WTS Bermuda and earning a spot to Tokyo 2020.

 “It was a good racing experience again and hopefully I get better for the next ones. I love this race, the crowd is always spectacular. This course is even better than the old one.”

Related: Javier Gomez announces goal to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Matthew Sharpe (CAN) finished 27th in a deep world-class field of 67 athletes. Unfortunately, both Tyler Mislawchuk and Alexis Lepage withdrew due to illness.

On the women’s side, Italy’s Angelica Olmo claimed her first ever world cup win. She was followed by Jolanda Annen (SUI) and Jaz Hedgeland (AUS).

Following the race, Olmo was overjoyed with her first win:

“I don’t believe it, I really don’t believe it. I was expecting to podium but not for the win.”

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