Javier Gomez runs to Ironman 70.3 Worlds victory
Spaniard chases down Ben Kanute in Chattanooga to take his second 70.3 world title
The greatest ever? Spain’s Javier Gomez added another yet another world championship title to his stuffed trophy cabinet today after running down the home favourite Ben Kanute at the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The 34-year-old would cross the line in 3:49hr to add another 70.3 world title to his record five ITU world championship crowns, the Xterra world title and an Olympic Games silver medal.
After the bitter disappointment of missing out on the 2016 Rio Olympics due to injury, the Spanish superstar Gomez reminded the multisport world of his formidable powers as he ran his way to the Ironman 70.3 world title with a 1:10hr half marathon time, his second 113km world crown after victory in 2014.
For the first time in 70.3 World Champs history, the race was split over two days, with Daniela Ryf winning the women’s title on the Saturday in Chattanooga.
The men’s 1.9km swim in the mighty Tennessee River on the Sunday was led out by America’s Ben Kanute and Gomez after 24mins, with the chase pack including former 70.3 and full Ironman world champ Sebastian Kienle of Germany and Britain’s Tim Don, the fastest man in 226km Ironman history and, like Gomez, an athlete with a feared run speed honed by years of racing short-course triathlon.
Kanute pushed to the front of the bike and – despite bike powerhouse Kienle carving through the field on the bike – maintained that lead onto the run after a 2:08 bike split, having a four minute lead at T2 over the German.
At the 15km mark of the run and after 3:30hr of racing, Gomez had the lead and didn’t relinquish it to finish in 3:49:45.
Kanute would hold on for second, with Don crossing the line for third to continue a scorching year for the 39-year-old Brit. And one that isn’t finished yet for the Boulder-based veteran of tri, with the full Ironman world championships taking place in Kona, Hawaii, on 14 October next month.