Tiszaujvaros, Hungary (July 15, 2012) - The first ITU World Cup contested in an innovative semifinals and finals format was highlighted by a French podium sweep and Australia's Ashleigh Gentle out-dueling a surprising threat for the title.
Elite Women's Review
In a tight battle for gold, Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) claimed her second career World Cup title with a win at the Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup. Maaike Caelers (NED), who collected silver, pushed Gentle to the end, giving the crowd an exciting finish.
Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) rounded out the top three, but not without a fight from Charlotte McShane (AUS).
The excitement in Tiszaujvaros began Saturday with the women's semifinals. The top 25 women across two waves advanced to finals on Sunday. The athletes completed the same three-lap 750m swim, but encountered a new six-lap 20km bike and three-lap 5km race the second day of competition.
On the 5km run course, Gentle's quest for the lead was answered by Caelers, who also had a monster first lap. Together, the women ran shoulder-to-shoulder, followed by the pair of Mazzetti and McShane.
Gentle found the energy to dash ahead of Caelers in the final meters of the last lap, leaving no time to slow for a celebratory finish. Gentle shot forward to and stopped the clock at 58 minutes, 40 seconds, while Caelers crossed three seconds later. It was the first World Cup podium of Caelers' career.
"It was a really hard fought battle to be honest," Gentle said, who also recorded the fastest run splits of the day. "I was trying to shake her, but she was relentless and stuck by my side. I'm lucky I had that little bit extra at the end."
Final results - Elite Women - 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
1. Ashleigh Gentle AUS 00:58:39
2. Maaike Caelers NED 00:58:43
3. Annamaria Mazzetti ITA 00:59:19
4. Charlotte McShane AUS 00:59:24
5. Anja Knapp GER 00:59:31
6. Rebecca Robisch GER 00:59:32
7. Arina Shulgina RUS 00:59:33
8. Inna Ryzhykh UKR 00:59:45
9. Zsofia Kovacs HUN 00:59:46
10. Helle Frederiksen DEN 00:59:59
Photo Credit: ITU