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WTCS Yokohama 2024 men’s results: American Morgan Pearson gets first WTCS win

American triathlon star Morgan Pearson secured an incredible victory with a brilliant run leg in Yokohama.

Staff Reporter
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Morgan Pearson cemented his status as a real medal contender in Paris this summer, as the American runner-turned-triathlete ran his way to a first ever WTCS win in Yokohama.

Holding off stiff competition, the Boulder based pro, who has already qualified for the Paris Olympic Games, clinched a memorable win in Japan.

In second and third, Australians Matt Hauser and Luke Willian were rewarded for great run legs with a podium finish, as Willian secured his spot on the Aussie Olympic team bound for Paris.

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Swim – Devay leads the way

A regular at the front of WTCS swims over the past few years, Hungarian Mark Devay again led the way through the first lap in Yokohama, with a big front group of athletes together after the first 750m in the water.

American favourite Pearson was 0:14 down after the first lap, with Marten Van Riel +0:16 down, and Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt out around twenty seconds in arrears at the Australian exit.

Continuing to push on, Devay, with the company of former world champion Vincent Luis exited the swim in 17:38, with two more world champions, Leo Bergere and Dorian Coninx, also in the front pack coming into transition.

Australian Matt Hauser was also up at the front, as was Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca, with contenders Pearson, Van Riel, Blummenfelt and Jonny Brownlee all within striking distance as they finished the swim in Yokohama Bay.

Bike – Multiple crashes as big bike pack comes together

Thanks in part to a steady early pace at the front, coupled with some strong transitions, a lead group of 33 men rolled through the first couple of laps together, but not without drama, as Henri Schoeman and Tyler Mislawchuk unfortunately crashed out early on.

After several fruitless attempts by athletes such as Vetle Thorn of Norway and Vilaca to breakaway, the chase group kept creeping back up towards the front, with a pack of 15 athletes or so winding down a gap of 40 seconds over the first half of the bike.

By the sixth lap of nine, the two major groups had merged, with 50 athletes up at the front together, leading to some nervous glances between the best bikers, who were getting increasingly anxious to force a split up front and build a buffer over the fastest runners.

In the final few laps, two major crashes reduced the numbers in the main pack, with the first one taking out Swiss athlete Simon Westermann and Denmark’s Emil Holm, and the second impacting a number of the pre-race favourites, including Coninx, Bergere, Pearson, Vilaca and Tom Richard.

Off the bike, Jonas Schomburg led Blummenfelt, Luis, Brownlee and 30 other men into transition together, with the men who lost time in the crashes a further 30 seconds in arrears, and Vilaca unfortunately more than a minute back.

Run – Pearson brings it home

Over the first lap of the run, it was recent Wollongong World Triathlon Cup winner Luke Willian who made the first move, as the Australian, joined by Jelle Geens and Schomburg, broke away and opened up a small gap before being caught by Pearson.

Through the second lap, as Schomburg and Geens dropped back, Charles Paquet of Canada joined Willian and Pearson up front, as the leading trio pushed on ahead of a group of six including Luis, Bergere, Blummenfelt, Van Riel, Matt Hauser and Kenji Nener.

As Blummenfelt dropped off, Willian and Pearson pushed onwards, and on the bell lap the leading pair had a handy buffer of +0:13 over the chase group. Willian, looking to qualify for the Australian Olympic team, needed a Top 8 finish to book his spot for Paris.

Morgan Pearson Paris Test Event [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]

Eventually, Pearson broke Willian and opened up a lead over the final lap and never looking back, romping home to his first WTCS win. Hauser, passing Willian in the closing kilometre, secured second, with his fellow Australian rewarded for his bravery with a brilliant third and a first ever WTCS Podium.

WTCS Yokohama – Saturday May 11 2024
1500m / 40km / 10km

Elite Men

  • 1. Morgan Pearson (USA) – 1:42:05
  • 2. Matt Hauser (AUS) – 1:42:12
  • 3. Luke Willian (AUS) – 1:42:20
  • 4. Leo Bergere (FRA) – 1:42:26
  • 5. Charles Paquet (CAN) – 1:42:30
  • 6. Marten Van Riel (BEL) – 1:42:34
  • 7. Kenji Nener (JPN) – 1:42:36
  • 8. Miguel Hidalgo (BRA) – 1:42:38
  • 9. Vincent Luis (FRA) – 1:42:40
  • 10. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) – 1:42:46
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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