After Great Britain swept the titles at the World U23 Championships in Abu Dhabi last year thanks to the exploits of Connor Bentley and Kate Waugh, Team Germany followed suit in 2023 and achieved the Pontevedra double thanks to Simon Henseleit and Selina Klamt.
Against highly competitive fields, both athletes prevailed in the closing stages of the run, with Klamt taking down Portuguese athlete Maria Tome on the final lap and Henseleit just outlasting Frenchman Baptiste Passemard to take the win.
In the men’s race, Daniel Dixon was the top British finisher with a brilliant fifth place, whilst in the women’s race, Tilly Anema was the highest placing Brit with a strong sixth place.
Men’s U23 Race Recap
In the men’s race, South African Jamie Riddle and Italian Alessio Crocciani led out of the water in a lightning quick 18:09, with Henseleit exiting less than 10 seconds back in a big front group which also included Dutchman Mitch Kolkman and Hungarian contender Gergely Kiss.
Onto the bike, there was a front pack of 16 athletes, with all the main favourites including Britain’s Hamish Reilly, who last year finished third at the World U23 Championships in Abu Dhabi. The leaders were eventually caught by a smaller chase group, growing to 25 athletes by the time they reached transition.
Over the demanding 10km run course, Passemard set the early pace, as the front group started to whittle down until only Henseleit and Kolkman were left beside him heading into the penultimate lap. On the second half of the run, the German began to pull clear and eventually opened up a comfortable gap, winning by 12 seconds over Passemard with Kolkman a further 12 seconds back in third.
Saturday September 23, 2023.
U23 Men – Olympic Distance
- 1. Simon Henseleit (GER) – 1:45:18
- 2. Baptiste Passemard (FRA) – 1:45:30
- 3. Mitch Kolkman (NED) – 1:45:42
- 4. Panagiotis Bitados (GRE) – 1:45:56
- 5. Daniel Dixon (GBR) – 1:46:01
Women’s U23 Race Recap
In the women’s race, the swim was a cagey affair over the first lap, as Britain’s Jessica Fullager led a large group of 15 athletes through the first 750m, with Klamt closely monitoring the situation at the front of the race throughout.
Over the second of two laps, Fullager, along with British team-mate Anema, dropped most of the front group with only Klamt, Canadian Sophia Howell and Hungarian Laura Holanszky able to hold onto the pace, as five athletes exited the water with a small lead.
Over the first two laps of the bike, Fullager attacked and managed to put close to 20 seconds into the rest of the field, but thanks to the work of Swiss athlete Cathia Schar in the chase pack, was reeled in over the rest of the 40km bike course, as almost 25 athletes ended up rolling into transition together.
Out on the run, Schar made the first move along with Tome of Portugal and Klamt, before the German pulled away with a burst that only Tome could live with.
Heading into the final lap, Klamt squeezed out whatever she had left and finally managed to shake off the Portuguese athlete to take the tape, with Italian Angelica Prestia coming through the field to take third behind Tome.
Sunday September 24, 2023.
U23 Women – Olympic Distance
- 1. Selina Klamt (GER) – 1:57:48
- 2. Maria Tome (POR) – 1:57:50
- 3. Angelica Prestia (ITA) – 1:58:25
- 4. Cathia Schar (SUI) – 1:58:53
- 5. Tanja Neubert (GER) – 1:59:12