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Spain’s Javier Gomez earned his third ITU World Championship title by turning in a final kick at the finish to pass Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee in front of a London crowd. Series’ leader Alistair Brownlee (GBR) was in the race on the swim and bike, but was in obvious pain to start the run and finished in 52nd place.
Read the race recap from Triathlon.org below:
For the second year in a row, the World Triathlon Series Grand Final came down to a furious finishing chute battle between Spain’s Javier Gomez and Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee. And for the second year in a row, it was Gomez who pulled out a killer kick to edge ahead and this time it was enough to claim his third Elite Men’s ITU World Championship title in London on Sunday.
In a pulsating last 200m Brownlee initially broke away and looked like he would be victorious in front of the home crowd, but with the line in sight Gomez fought back brilliantly to claim victory by just one second, finishing in 1:48:16.
“It feels amazing to be world champion, I can’t really believe it,” said Gomez after his victory. “It probably wasn’t my day for running, I felt quite tired, so I was just working hard on the sprint, on the last kick. It’s amazing to be champion, I’m so happy.”
Jonathan Brownlee’s second-place finish means he claimed silver medal in the overall world championship rankings, while Mario Mola (ESP) finished third in 1:49:10, which also meant he snatched bronze in the overall rankings.
It was one race too many for Alistair Brownlee, however, whose ongoing Achilles injury finally caught up with the Olympic champion and rankings leader before the Grand Final. Alistair had won the past 10 consecutive Olympic distance races he’d competed in on the ITU circuit, including three this year, and he was in his usual position in the lead group during the swim and the bike.
But he began wincing visibly at the start of the 10km run and soon started to drop away from the leaders. He courageously continued to fight his way to the finish, outrunning other athletes despite limping significantly, and even stopping during the dramatic sprint finish to cheer on his brother. Alistair eventually finished in 52nd place, which saw him finish fourth in the overall rankings to just miss out on a world championship medal.
Instead it was left to Gomez and Jonathan Brownlee to fight it out in a thrilling 10km race, knowing a win in London would also secure the world championship. Both athletes had multiple turns to break away without any real success before the last-ditch, dramatic finale unfolded. Behind them, it was Mola who turned out one of the performances of the day.
Leaving transition 30 seconds down on the leader pack of 13, he moved into third just at the start of the bell lap of the run. While the pace of Brownlee and Gomez proved too much to catch them, Mola finished clearly in third, enough to earn his first overall ITU World Championship medal. Gomez joins Australia’s Peter Robertson and Emma Snowsill as three-time ITU World Champions, Great Britain’s Simon Lessing (four titles) is the only athlete to have claimed more.
ITU WTS World Triathlon
London, England – Sept. 15, 2013
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Javier Gomez ESP 01:48:16
2. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 1:48:17
3. Mario Mola ESP 1:49:10
4. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 1:49:21
5. Vincent Luis FRA 1:49:24
6. Laurent Vidal FRA 1:49:28
7. Aaron Royle AUS 1:49:30
8. Cristano Grajales MEX 1:49:32
9. Reinaldo Colucci BRA 1:49:34
10.Joao Pereira POR 1:49:34
2013 ITU World Triathlon Series Final Rankings
1. Javier Gomez ESP 4220
2. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 4195
3. Mario Mola ESP 3726
4. Alistair Brownlee GBR 3140
5. Richard Murray RSA 2937
6. Joao Silva POR 2795
7. Laurent Vidal FRA 2680
8. Sven Riederer SUI 2494
9. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 2407
10. Vincent Luis FRA 2243