Great Britain narrowly missed out on a medal at the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg. Australia, the pre-race favourites, claimed the world title in an exciting race that came down to five teams racing for medals over the final mile run.
Athletes raced over the super sprint course, with each team member individually covering a 300m swim, 6.6 km bike and 1.6 km run before handing over to their team mate. The format has recently been voted into the Tokyo Olympic Games and today’s race attracted twenty highly competitive teams.
Sophie Coldwell made an excellent start for the Great Britain team, and handed over to Gordon Benson, who kept the team in contention. Lucy Hall was up next and she used her typically excellent swimming ability to move up to third place starting the bike leg.
When Tom Bishop took up the final leg, USA and Canada had a lead of over twenty seconds, with Tom riding in the chase group with Australia and the Netherlands. The group worked effectively to catch the leaders and all five athletes came into the final transition together.
Unfortunately, Bishop was held up in transition by a collision with the Dutch athlete, Jorik Van Egdom, and had to retrieve his bike shoe from the carpet and place it in his transition box before he could start his run.
Australia’s Jake Birtwhistle, second in the individual race yesterday, was already well up the road, followed by team USA’s Matthew Mcelroy. Bishop bounded through the run, catching the Canadian team to move to fourth, but ran out of time to catch the others. In a fantastic team effort, Great Britain just fell short of a medal by five seconds.
Results; Hamburg ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships; 300m swim, 6.6 km bike, 1.6 km run:
1. Australia, 1:22:38
2. United States, 1:22:42
3. Netherlands, 1:22:47
4. Great Britain, 1:22:52
5. Canada, 1:23:04
6. France, 1:23:49
7. South Africa, 1:24:05
8. Switzerland, 1:24:08
9. New Zealand, 1:24:11
10. Germany, 1:24:26