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WTCS Yokohama 2024 women’s results: Leonie Periault takes maiden win with phenomenal run

French star Leonie Periault took her maiden WTCS victory in style, as she left the competition for dead over the 10km run.

Staff Reporter
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French star Leonie Periault took an incredible win at WTCS Yokohama, as the 29-year-old ran her way to victory with a stunning 10km off the bike.

Beating fellow countrywoman Emma Lombardi and two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Taylor Knibb, Periault looked remarkably in control throughout the run.

Coming agonizingly close to securing an automatic Olympic spot, Taylor Spivey of the USA finished in fourth, as the battle to make the American team continues.

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Swim – Kingma leads out of the water

Starting out strong, it was Taylor Knibb who set the early pace, with the front pack strung out from the gun as the American worked hard over the first lap of the swim in Yokohama Bay.

Out of the water for the Australian Exit, a front pack of Knibb, Taylor Spivey, Kirsten Kasper, Summer Rappaport and six other athletes were within ten seconds of each other, with British favourite Kate Waugh just off the back +0:15 down.

Further back, Olympic champion Flora Duffy was +0:18 down, with 2016 gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen +0:22 down, alongside Sweden’s Tilda Mansson and Britain’s Vicky Holland.

Over the second lap, Maya Kingma of the Netherlands moved to the front, and exited the water in 18:17 for the 1500m swim, with contenders such as Knibb, Emma Lombardi and Waugh up front, plus Duffy who had made up a remarkable amount of ground over the second half of the swim.

With a front pack of over ten athletes emerging on to the bike, a strong group looked capable of getting away up front, with contenders such as Wollongong World Triathlon Cup winner Mansson +0:25 down and Jorgensen facing a deficit of +0:39.

Bike – Front pack make their mark

Boasting a number of strong cyclists within their ranks, the front group quickly got to work to build their advantage, as Kingma, Duffy, Knibb and German star Laura Lindemann pushed the pace.

Flora Duffy - AJ Bell World Triathlon Series Leeds 2022

Testing the waters, there were several mini breaks over the first couple of laps off the front, but each time, everything came together again and the front pack finally seemed content to leave the race between them to the run.

Behind, a quartet of Nina Eim, Julie Derron, Jeanne Lehair and Natalie van Coevorden were next best placed, but by the halfway mark were more than a minute in arrears, with the larger chase pack behind, which included Jorgensen, closer to two minutes down.

Despite putting time into their fellow competitors, it wasn’t all smooth sailing at the front, with both Sian Rainsley and Maya Kingma falling foul to mechanicals and subsequently dropping from the lead group.

Gathering themselves over the final lap, a group of 14 including Duffy, Knibb, Spivey, Kasper and British duo Waugh and Olivia Mathias, started the run with +1:07 gap over the small chase pack of Eim, Derron, Lehair, van Coevorden and Jolien Vermeylen.

Jorgensen, +2:15 down, had a lot of work to do over the 10km run, but did have a number of top class runners such as Rachel Klamer, Holland and Mansson alongside her.

Run – The Leonie Periault Show

Straight to the front, former World U23 Champion Lombardi looked the best of the bike, and was soon joined up front by Waugh, as the pair opened up a small gap over Lindemann, Kasper and Leonie Periault as the Top 5 broke away.

Through the first lap, it was then Periault up front with a handful of seconds over Lombardi, as Knibb joined Waugh and Kasper in the battle for third, with the rest of the former front pack a further 10 seconds behind.

Flying through the halfway mark, Periault had +0:22 over Knibb and Lombardi, as further back, Spaniard Anna Godoy and Spivey moved up on to the shoulder of Kasper, with the trio 15 seconds off the podium after 5km.

Leonie Periault on the run at the World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary 2022.
[Photo Credit – World Triathlon]

On to the last lap, Periault was clear, having extended her gap to +0:35 over Knibb and Lombardi, with Spivey and Kasper battling it out and gunning for that third place finish which would guarantee either athlete an Olympic berth.

As Periault took the tape, Knibb outsprinted Lombardi to take the silver, as the French secured a 1-3 in emphatic style and look incredibly strong just two months out from a home Olympic Games.

In seventh, Duffy marked the start of her Olympic title defence with a strong performance, whilst her fellow Olympic gold medalist, Jorgensen, finished down in 15th.

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

Elite Women

  • 1. Leonie Periault (FRA) – 1:52:28
  • 2. Taylor Knibb (USA) – 1:53:04
  • 3. Emma Lombardi (FRA) – 1:53:08
  • 4. Taylor Spivey (USA) – 1:53:25
  • 5. Kirsten Kasper (USA) – 1:53:34
  • 6. Anna Godoy Contreras (ESP) – 1:53:35
  • 7. Flora Duffy (BER) – 1:53:38
  • 8. Djenyfyr Arnold (BRA) – 1:53:43
  • 9. Laura Lindemann (GER) – 1:54:00
  • 10. Kate Waugh (GBR) – 1:54:11
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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