Spaniard Mario Mola was finally able to capture the gold medal in Japan at the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama.

In a series of firsts, Spaniard Mario Mola was finally able to capture the gold medal in Japan at the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama. While the other two podium spots were earned by Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales and Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, both of whom graced the WTS podium for the very first time. Their medals also meant that Mexico and Norway were represented on a World Triathlon Series podium for the first time in history.

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Heading out onto the bike it looked as though different groups were going to form, but after the first lap the course was simply a giant sea of cyclists as the pack tallied well over 50 men. As the pack never decreased in size of the course of the nine-laps, the second transition zone would become a gathering of all contenders at the same time.

Mola executed on his run right out of the T2 gate and was able to stride his way into his third WTS victory of the season. Also capitalizing on the run was Grajales who captured the silver medal, when he overtook Blummenfelt in the final kilometers of the course to advance into second place, while Blummenfelt was left to finish off the day with an impressive third.

The big topic on many athletes’ minds was where they needed to finish to qualify for the Rio Olympics. The USA’s Joe Maloy and Ben Kanute clocked 11th- and 17th-place finishes, which were strong enough for the US to name them to the Olympic team. While Greg Billington didn’t finish, his standing was high enough with USA Triathlon’s own rankings that he, too, was named to their Olympic team.

While Jason Wilson didn’t improve his ranking, his biggest competition Manuel Huerta didn’t race, so Wilson should theoretically make his first Olympic Team and become the first triathlete from Barbados to go to the Olympics. A 29th place finish from Ivan Ivanov was not enough to overtake Thomas Springer for the European new flag quota spot.

The biggest points mover of the day was Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN). His 10th place finish saw him surge to 2781 points, moving up ahead of teammates Andrew Yorke and Kyle Jones. While Canada’s two positions are in tact, selectors now have to choose which of the three men to take to Rio.

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2016 ITU WTS Yokohama
Yokohama, Japan – May 14, 2016
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run

1. Mario Mola ESP 1:46:27
2. Crisanto Grajales MEX 1:46:42
3. Kristian Blummenfelt NOR 1:46:45
4. Jacob Birtwhistle AUS 1:46:50
5. Fernando Alarza ESP 1:46:54
6. Pierre Le Corre FRA 1:46:57
7. Henri Schoeman RSA 1:46:57
8. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 1:47:07
9. Ryan Sissons NZL 1:47:11
10. Tyler Mislawchuk CAN 1:47:15