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.