France claim U23 World Championship: Emma Lombardi wins in Edmonton

The next generation of French triathletes looks strong, with Emma Lombardi their latest U23 World Triathlon Championship gold medallist


The 2021 U23 Women’s World Triathlon Championship was the first event of Saturday’s World Triathlon Championship Finals in Edmonton, Canada.

France win U23 World Champs – again

Part of the breakaway group on the swim and bike, Emma Lombardi ensured that the championship – last held in 2019 and won by Emilie Morier – remained in French hands.

Ireland’s Erin Mcconnell lead the way in through the opening 1.5km, two-lap swim, but it wasn’t long before the leading swim group of seven was reduced the five early in the bike. Olivia Mathias (silver in the 2019 event) was there as was training partner Sophie Alden, joined by Barbara De Koning (NED), Kira Hedgeland (AUS) and Lombardi.

The large chase group included the other two British starters, Kate Waugh and Sophia Green, were part of a chasing group who were over a minute and a half back at T2.

De Koning – still only 18 – was the first to drop from the leading five on the run, while the small lead that small run lead that Mathias gained over the opening kilometre was quickly closed by Hedgeland and Lombardi. Despite their T2 advantage, the chase was on from behind.

Lombardi made her move late in the third lap of four and would not be challenged over the final 2.5km, finishing with tears in her eyes from her efforts. A worthy winner who was at the front of the race for the full two hours.

The fastest runners were Albert Kjaer Pedersen (DEN) and Annika Koch (GER) who managed to run down all but the winner. The Danish athlete added silver to her World Cup victory earlier this year in Huatulco, Mexico, with the German completing the podium five seconds later. They ran 34:04 and 34:09 respectively, impressive speed.

Mathias (6th), Alden (7th) and Waugh (10th) meant three Brits in the top ten at the finish, with Sophia Green 16th.


U23 Triathlon World Championship, Edmonton – Saturday 21st August 2021
1.5km / 40km / 10km

  1. Emma Lombardi (FRA) – 1:59:48
  2. Albert Kjaer Pedersen (DEN) – 2:00:05
  3. Annika Koch (GER) – 2:00:10
  4. Kira Hedgeland (AUS) – 2:00:28
  5. Lea Coninx (FRA) – 2:00:40
  6. Olivia Mathias (GBR) – 2:00:54
  7. Sophie Alden (GBR) – 2:01:00
  8. Lisa Tertsch (GER) – 2:01:45
  9. Maria Tome (POR) – 2:01:46
  10. Kate Waugh (GBR) – 2:02:00

16. Sophie Green (GBR) – 2:03:38

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