No swimming on Friday in Montreal, which meant that the 2022 World Junior Triathlon Championships was held in duathlon format.
That all came about ‘thanks’ to heavy rainfall resulting in the gates of the pipe sewers being opened into the St Lawrence River to avoid flooding in the city.
Nobody wants a cancelled swim… but nobody wants to swim in that either.
Thus, a 750m opening swim was replaced with a 2.5km run. Format change or not, we still had the top two athletes from 2021 battling it out for gold and silver once again.
Championship double for Månsson
A decent-sized group reached T1 together after that opening run, including defending World Junior Champion, Julie Behrens (GER) and the recent European Junior champion Tilda Månsson (SWE), who earned the silver medal last year behind Behrens.
The four-lap bike course featured plenty of corners plus several 180-degree U-turns, and at the end of lap one the lead group was established at 16 athletes. That included a British duo of Bethany Cook and Lizzy Edge.
Defending champion Behrens spent a lot of time pushing the pace at the front, while Månsson was seemingly keeping her powder dry in the group. Would that prove key with the second run to come?
With little change in the shape of the race on the mostly flat terrain, that final 5km would determine the direction of the medals, and that large group reached T2 in close order.
Canada’s Noeme Beaulieu was first to show on the run, but it didn’t take too long for the tall figure of Månsson to run through and take the lead, with Behrens right on her shoulder. Would it be repeat or revenge for the top two finishers from last year’s championship in Quarteira, Portugal?
Locked together into the second and final run lap, Månsson seemingly didn’t want this to come down to a sprint finish and pushed the pace on to try and pull clear of the defending champion. She did just that midway through the run, but still had a full kilometre or more to hold it until the finish.
Any thoughts that Behrens could fight back were dashed, as Månsson continued her impressive performance, extending her lead to more than 10 seconds at the finish to become European and World Junior Triathlon champion. One to watch, for sure.
Speaking to World Triathlon media, Månsson said: “I would have liked to have the triathlon, that’s what I came here for, but it’s the same for everyone.
“I was very nervous today, I don’t know why, but I think I handled it well. On the second lap I just wanted to go, I heard the gap was getting longer and just thought, don’t stop! My mother’s here and she supports me, and my brother who is my coach, so I’m very grateful to him too.”
2022 World Triathlon Junior Championships Montreal Results
Friday June 24, 2022 – 2.5km run / 19.3km bike / 5km run
(Swim replaced by run)
- 1. Tilda Månsson (SWE) – 57:17
- 2. Julie Behrens (GER) – 57:29
- 3. Livia Gross (SUI) – 58:03
- 4. Noeme Bealieu (CAN) – 58:13
- 5.. Luna De BruIn (NED) – 58:17
- 9. Bethany Cook (GBR) – 58:41
- 19. Lizzy Edge (GBR) – 1:00:31
- 40. Martha Calton-Seal (GBR) – 1:03:43