Gomez secures Kona spot at Ironman Cairns
Spanish superstar finishes second on his long-awaited 226km race debut
One of the most eagerly-awaited full Ironman debuts took place in Cairns, Australia, this weekend when Spanish superstar Javier Gomez took on 226km for the first time.
And the record ITU world championship-winning athlete didn’t disappoint, breaking the eight-hour barrier on debut to finish two minutes down on race winner Braden Currie to clinch silver at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship event.
Gomez, the five-time ITU and double Ironman 70.3 world champion and Bahrain Endurance athlete, emerged from the 3.8km sea swim in first place after clocking a swift 46:42 spilt. Onto the bike, and Gomez’s 180km time was 4:25:09, the seventh fastest of the day as Terrenzo Bozzone entered T2 first.
Currie was first to bridge the gap to Bozzone, but Gomez was increasing the pace and moving through the field, catching the two experienced iron athletes at the 14km mark. It would become a duel between Gomez and Currie for the top spot but, with 10km to go, Currie put in the breakaway to produce the win.
So I’m an Ironman now! 😂 Great experience in Cairns today. I would have signed a 7h56min for my first IM in a not especially fast course, the day before the race. But that wasn’t enough to win this time. Mr @braden_currie was amazing and the well deserved champion. Personally, I’m happy with my race until the last 10km of the run where I just had to focus on slowly making it to the finish line. Learnt a lot a hope to sort out a few problems in order to be more consistent at the end of the race. Also, great job of my @bahrainendurance13 team mate @terenzo1 , rounding the podium and all the finishers today.
“I had a pretty good race. It was just 10km too long,” laughed Gomez post-race. “I just tried to focus on making it to the finish line. Braden was amazing.” He added, “I’m still very pleased with my time and to become officially an Ironman.”
With a 2:41:03 marathon time and 7:56:39 overall finish, Gomez secured his spot on the Ironman World Championship start list come October in Kona where he’ll hope to break the German stranglehold on the men’s pro event. It seems the 40th birthday of Ironman in Hawaii looks set to become one of the most memorable events in the race’s storied history