Hollie Avil is the new World U23 Champion after leading home her team-mate Jodie Stimpson at the Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships on Australia’s Gold Coast earlier this morning.
Avil’s win came in 1:56:38 – just a second ahead of her compatriot Stimpson – with Vicky Holland, the third British contender, taking fourth place.
Avil, Stimpson and Holland were in the leading pack at the end of the 1500m swim and maintained their position in that front group throughout a tough 40km ride.
The three British triathletes, joined by Canada’s Paula Findlay, kept up a relentless pace as the run began and with 2.5km to go Avil and Stimpson made a break at the front.
On the final lap, Avil squeezed on the pace to get ahead and take gold and Stimpson held off Findlay who took bronze ahead of Holland.
Avil, who was world junior champion in 2007, said: "When you win a race like that, working hard and really pushing the bike for the whole 40km and then getting off and nailing 10km of running, it feels great," she said. "With three of us in the top four it just proves how much talent there is coming through and how well our world class programme is working, you can’t really ask for much more. With one junior world title, and now an under 23 world title, I guess the senior one comes next, but that might take a few years”.
Stimpson said: “I knew my tactics had to be slightly different to the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship race in London where I hit a brick wall on the run, and I didn’t want it to happen today," said Stimpson. "To get second to Hollie is great, the best girl won on the day and congratulations to her."
Britain has further chances to shine tomorrow and Sunday. Alistair Brownlee, world no.1, races in the elite men’s race tomorrow whilst Helen Jenkins, the reigning world champion, takes part in the equivalent women’s race on Sunday. Brownlee’s brother Jonathan also contests the junior men’s title on Sunday.
2009 Gold Coast U23 ITU Triathlon World Championship Results 1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run.
Official Results 1. Hollie Avil, GBR. 1:56:38 2. Jodie Stimpson, GBR. 1:57:01 +0:23 3. Paula Findlay, CAN. 1:57:15 +0:37 4. Vicky Holland, GBR. 1:57:30 +0:52 5. Yuliya Sapunova, UKR. 1:59:48 +3:10
Image: Nigel Farrow