Few things are certain in triathlon, and while it may have seemed more than likely Team Europe would retain their Collins Cup trophy, nothing was certain until Gustav Iden crossed the line to clinch the points that secured victory for his side.
His race, as with those from so many of his fellow Europeans, was brutally efficient, sensationally executed and all-but-decided from the moment they exited the water.
“It was good,” Iden said, assessing his race. “I’m not used to leading the swim, but I actually had to do that today so that was pretty different for me.
“I tried to just break the morale of my two competitors from the start of the bike, so I opened pretty hard. Then the heavy wind really kicked off at the last part of the bike… but I made it to the finish line.”
Iden and Europe’s imminent glory was something he had openly flaunted. While others may be cautious to tempt fates in such a manner, Iden oozes the confidence of a competitor who feels that he is in full control of his destiny, rather than the other way around.
“I said before the start that I guessed my six points will get the trophy,” he said. “Here we are now with Team Europe as the winner once again. Congrats to Europe!”
And, while he may have been grasping a European flag as he crossed the finish line, Iden’s performance also had something to do with the other side of the world.
His now-lucky race cap comes all the way from Taiwan by way of Japan, found discarded on a Tokyo street and bearing the name of Shunze Temple in Taiwan.
“So far no one has been able to break the lucky hat,” he smiled. “We’ll see how far it can go.”