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The Championship 2024 women’s results: India Lee takes back-to-back titles and breaks her 2023 record

India Lee made it successive titles in Slovakia, as the Great British middle distance star secured an incredible victory and a new course record with a brilliant swim, bike and run at the x-bionic sphere.

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Great Britain’s India Lee bounced back from a disappointing DNF at the Singapore T100 to take back-to-back titles at The Championship in a new course record.

Lee, who broke through last year with her victory in Šamorín, never looked under threat, as she entered the water in the lead group, broke away on the bike and ran her way to victory.

In second, Laura Madsen, the rising star from Denmark, finished in second, with Anna Bergsten from Sweden running her way through the field to take third.

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Swim – Pohle leads but Langridge and Lee close by

As expected, the women’s swim was dominated by last year’s podium finisher Caroline Pohle and Fenella Langridge, with Pohle just getting a jump on Langridge up the sandbank leading to transition to start the bike in first, with the Brit in hot pursuit.

Lee looked composed as she exited the swim at the head of the chase pack, with the recent Miami T100 winner less than ten seconds behind Langridge and Pohle. Joined by Rebecca Robisch and Madsen, Lee had closed the gap to the front by the time she started the bike.

Gapped in the swim, one of the main contenders for the win, Els Visser, had just over two minutes to make up through T1, alongside Estonian Olympian Kaidi Kivioja. Margie Santimaria, a regular on the Challenge Family circuit, also came through transition with the pair.

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Bike – Lee leads the way

Just as she had done in the swim, Pohle pushed the pace over the early stages of the bike, with Lee the only athlete capable of staying in contact with the German, as the pair, 1-2 last year, battled it out again up front.

Langridge, who by the halfway mark was +1:30 back from Lee and Pohle, had been joined by Madsen and Robisch to form a chase pack of three. Another 30 seconds back, Visser and Kivioja were working hard to make contact.

By the 56km mark, nothing separated Lee and Pohle, but behind, a strong group of five had come together, with Madsen, Robisch, Langridge, Visser and Kivioja within 15 seconds of each other but still losing time to the front.

Gapping Pohle in the closing stages, Lee led off the bike solo, with a +0:28 gap to the German in second. In third, Madsen led Visser, Langridge, Robisch and Kivioja in, as they entered T2 with a deficit of +3:20.

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Run – Lee unstoppable in Šamorín

Over the first lap of the run, Lee quickly started to build up her lead, with the defending champion putting another 30 seconds into Pohle over the first 5km. Further back, the battle for third was ferocious, with Kivioja, Visser and Madsen locked together.

India Lee (GBR) took the win at The Championship 2024.
[Photo Credit – Challenge Family]

As Lee extended her lead up front, Pohle started to lose time to the chasers, with Kivioja, Madsen and Visser making ground on the German, with Sweden’s Anna Bergsten also moving through the field swiftly.

Strong from start to finish, Lee made it two wins in 2024 and consolidated her position as one of the best in the world over the middle distance with her win. Finishing in 3:56:45, Lee was almost two minutes quicker than 12 months ago.

In second, Madsen managed to pull away from the rest of the chasers to take another top tier podium, with Bergsten running her way on to the podium with a fantastic effort over the second half of the run.

Challenge Family The Championship 2024 results

Sunday May 19, 2024 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

PRO Women

  • 1. India Lee (GBR) – 3:56:45
  • 2. Laura Madsen (DEN) – 3:59:52
  • 3. Anna Bergsten (SWE) – 4:00:32
  • 4. Kaidi Kivioja (EST) – 4:01:34
  • 5. Els Visser (NED) – 4:01:56
  • 6. Megan McDonald (GBR) – 4:05:05
  • 7. Rebecca Robisch (GER) – 4:05:16
  • 8. Fenella Langridge (GBR) – 4:06:08
  • 9. Charlene Clavel (FRA) – 4:06:42
  • 10. Jenny Jendryschik (GER) – 4:06:57
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Women Pro Podium
[Photo Credit – Challenge Family]
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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