Gomez tops Brownlee but GBR keeps ITU World Championship crown
Posted Oct 21 2012 2:03pm
Auckland, New Zealand (October 21, 2012) - Spain's Javier Gomez claimed the ITU Grand Final victory in one of the best series finishes to date with a thrilling sprint over Great Britain's Jonathan Brownlee. But Brownlee was crowned the 2012 ITU Triathlon World Champion after finishing atop the ITU World Triathlon Series rankings.
Sven Riederer finished third in the Grand Final race, but Dmitry Polyanskiy's seventh spot was enough to secure him third in the series overall.
The junior men's and women's races both saw historic results, with Fukima Matsumoto and Wian Sullwald becoming the first ITU World Champions for Japan and South Africa respectively. In the junior women's race, Matsumoto executed a perfectly timed run to beat France's Leonie Periault and the USA's Tamara Gordon.
In pouring rain in the junior men's, Sullwald was in the lead group from start to finish and ended up with a comfortable 14 seconds win over of France's Simon Viain and Ireland's Constantine Doherty, the first ITU World Championship medallist from Ireland.
The race was set up as an all-star clash of triathlon titans and Javier Gomez (ESP) and Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) did not disappoint today in Auckland against tough, wet conditions.
With the 2012 ITU World Championship at stake, the Olympic medallists produced one of the most exciting finishes in ITU World Triathlon Series history. With three lead changes in the final three hundred metres, Gomez charged to his first ITU Grand Final victory and finished the season as the overall World Championships silver medallist.
"I had a feeling I had something left on the last lap," said Gomez. "So I waited for my moment and maybe with 200 metres to go, I said 'okay now we go with everything as fast as I can', and it worked well."
Brownlee settled for second place after being out-sprinted by Gomez, but the podium finish was more than enough to secure his first elite World Championship, ensuring the title stays in the family after his brother Alistair won in 2011.
"It's great to keep the title in the family, pretty special," said Brownlee. "It was a tough day. I thought when work up this morning that the weather was bad and it was going to be a hard pure triathlon and that's what it was."
While the overall gold and silver were locked up, bronze was very much up for grabs and the battle came down to Sven Riederer (SUI) and Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS). While Riederer took the final spot on the Grand Final podium, the Russian claimed World Championship bronze after his seventh place finish gave him just enough points to finish the series in third.
2012 Barfoot&Thompson ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run - Final Results - Elite Men 1. Javier Gomez ESP 02:00:29 2. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 02:00:31 3. Sven Riederer SUI 02:01:18 4. Steffen Justus GER 02:01:40 5. Gregor Buchholz GER 02:01:46 6. Kyle Jones CAN 02:01:48 7. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 02:01:50 8. Ivan Rana ESP 02:01:56 9. Richard Murray RSA 02:02:00 10. David McNamee GBR 02:02:06 Click here for full results
2012 ITU World Triathlon Series - Final Rankings, Elite Men 1. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 4935 2. Javier Gomez ESP 4845 3. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 3822 4. Sven Riederer SUI 3773 5. Richard Murray RSA 3575 6. Steffen Justus GER 3564 7. Alexander Bryukhankov RUS 3285 8. Laurent Vidal FRA 2772 9. Joao Silva POR 2682 10. David Hauss FRA 2519