The final day of a fantastic weekend of triathlon celebrations saw the showcase event of the Mixed Relay. With the Elite racing in Glasgow, it was the Juniors who would put on the show and race for the title.
With Hungary, the reigning Champions, on the start line, with Germany, still buzzing from Tim Hellwig’s great result on Friday and with the late-entry of Russia, the 2017 podium was here.
Challengers from Austria, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Denmark, Latvia, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania and the host nation, Estonia, it was an impressive line-up of athletes in transition as they were presented to the crowds who had found the best location to watch the swim start, transition, handover and then a short run up to the finish. Click the photo below for the swim start video.
As the heartbeats sounded out over the river, tension was running high. The athletes dived into the river and swam against the current before their turn to come back downstream and the exit that would lead them to T1.
With an initial lead established by Dorka Putnóczki, the Hungarian team looked set to defend their title but the sheer delight of relay racing is that so much can happen. Penalties to four teams were issued by the Head Referee, Dave Rigby (GBR) and suddenly the dynamic was changed and with some teams playing catch-up, other were suddenly seeing fresh opportunities.
With the format of racing seeing the handover going from female to male to female to male, leads that had been established early were lost and it was only until the final leg that we got a reasonable impression of just which team might win. From the handover, it was a fast run to the pontoon.
With a tremendous battle between Kate Waugh GBR and Gabriela Ribeiro POR on the 3rd leg, that saw them work really hard together on the swim, then between them decide to push as hard as possible on the bike, it was Ribeiro whose kick left Waugh trailing as they went to the handover.
France has a powerful swimming in Paul Georgenthum and he soon caught Tiago Fonseca POR and James Chantler-Mayne GBR. The three set off on the bike but a slip at the handover meant that Team GB would have a ten second penalty to serve just 200m from the finish. There was no breakaway on the bike and coming into T2, the three athletes had just the final 1700m to run.
No gambling from the British team. The penalty was served and they dropped out of medal contention to leave Fonseca to storm down the blue carpet to take the gold medal and title of European Champions for his team.
Georgenthum was scooped up by his teammates as he crossed the line. Celebrations were loud and wild in the finish area and the national TV company came at just the right time to catch the interview with the victorious Portuguese Team. Tim Hellwig had done so much on the bike to try and catch the leader and with Chantler-Mayne standing in the penalty box , watching the ten seconds tick away, Hellwig sped past and then down to the finish to take the bronze.
With medals being presented by ETU Executive Board Member, Herwig Grabner and Race Director Ain-Alar Juhanson, the jubilant teams climbed onto the podium for one last time in Tartu. Click the picture below for the video of the celebrations.
With the medals around their necks and bottles of fizz in their hands, the best celebration was had to close the 2018 Tartu ETU Triathlon European Championships.
We will get the Age group report up in the next few days but first need to get home and work on the photos.
Thank you Tartu; as a city, you have welcomed athletes from all over Europe and showed them what a lovely location this is and with your dedicated team of volunteers, hard-working event committee and welcoming population, this is without doubt an event that everyone will remember fondly.
Tänan Eesti ja jällenägemiseni!
Related Event: 2018 Tartu ETU Triathlon European Championships
|Results: Elite Men|
|2.||Uxio Abuin Ares||ESP||00:53:18|
|3.||Roberto Sanchez Mantecon||ESP||00:53:19|
|Results: Elite Women|
|9.||Marta Sanchez Hernandez||ESP||00:59:43|
|Results: Junior Men|
|1.||Vetle Bergsvik Thorn||NOR||00:53:59|
|Results: Junior Women|
|Results: Mixed Junior Relay|
|1.||Team I Portugal||POR||01:18:24|
|2.||Team I Germany||GER||01:18:32|
|3.||Team I France||FRA||01:18:40|
|4.||Team I Russia||RUS||01:18:45|
|5.||Team I Hungary||HUN||01:18:46|
|6.||Team I Great Britain||GBR||01:18:47|
|7.||Team I Switzerland||SUI||01:18:59|
|8.||Team I Austria||AUT||01:19:15|
|9.||Team I Italy||ITA||01:19:36|
|10.||Team I Spain||ESP||01:20:24|
|Results: PTWC Men|
|1.||Geert Schipper H2||NED||01:03:11|
|2.||Joseph Townsend H2||GBR||01:04:27|
|3.||Giovanni Achenza H2||ITA||01:04:54|
|4.||Alexandre Paviza H1||FRA||01:05:40|
|5.||Florian Brungraber H2||AUT||01:06:01|
|6.||Ahmed Andaloussi H1||FRA||01:08:37|
|7.||Benjamin Lenatz H1||GER||01:09:26|
|8.||Jose Manuel Quintero Macias H1||ESP||01:18:40|
|DNS.||José Vicente Arzo Diago H2||ESP||DNS|