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Portugal’s Joao Silva broke through for his first-ever victory in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. Amidst the intense heat in Yokohama, Silva didn’t wilt but instead rose to the occasion and to the top of the podium.
“This course suits me better than Beijing; I like it hot. I was a little disappointed after Beijing and I haven’t been back home for a long time, so it’s a great end to the season and I am really happy,” said Silva. “I have to thank all the people from Yokohama for holding such a great race and also supporting the athletes along all the kilometers.”
Russia claimed the other two spots on the podium with Alexander Bryukhankov and Dmitry Polyansky taking silver and bronze respectively.
A full field of 65 men dove into the warm waters of Yokohama Bay for the 1.5km, two-lap swim. Polyansky led a 1-2-3-4 Russian lead out of the swim, followed closely by Silva.
Out onto the flat and technical 40km bike course, a massive group of approximately 50 men came together. With no major breakaways, the pack stayed intact throughout the eight laps.
A pair of triathlon legends-Simon Whitfield and Chris McCormack-led the men into T2. But it was Japan’s Yuichi Hosoda delighted the crowd as he shot out of transition and hit the 10km run course first with Whitfield and Docherty just behind him.
Hosoda attacked hard early, fuelled by the desire to secure an Olympic spot that was at stake with a top-8 finish. But the Asian Games gold medallist could not maintain the lead, especially with Silva bearing down on him. Silva was in 12th position at the start of the run but by the end of the first lap, he had overtaken Hosoda and opened up a lead of almost ten seconds.
Laying down a blistering pace that matched the weather, Silva extended the gap over the next two laps, while the battle for silver and bronze heated up behind him between Russian teammates Bryukhankov and Polyansky. Bryukhankov was digging into Silva’s lead and for a moment looked like he might reel him in. But Silva did not back down and broke the tape at 1 hour, 49 minutes, 21 seconds to secure the biggest victory of his career. He blitzed the 10km run, hammering out a 30:14 split on a course that was measured accurately at ten kilometers.
Double Olympic medalist Whitfield came back strong on the run to finish in fourth place; his best ever result in a Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series event. Chrabot rounded out the top-five with his season-best showing.
Hosoda stepped up to the challenge to secure a top-eight and Olympic spot but fell just short, finishing in 10th place, by far the best of WCS result of his career.
Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Yokohama
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Final Results – Elite Men
1. Joao Silva POR 01:49:21
2. Alexander Brukhankov RUS 01:49:35
3. Dmitry Polyansky RUS 01:50:04
4. Simon Whitfield CAN 01:50:14
5. Matt Chrabot USA 01:50:15
Race recap provided by ITU.