Richard Stannard stormed to his third ITU Aquathlon World Championship with a convincing victory by 21 seconds over silver medallist Ran Alterman of Israel today, says the BTF’s Tom Goldspink. Brazil’s Leandro Barbosa took the bronze.
The aquathlon event kicked off the action from the ITU World Championships in Beijing and saw competitors complete a 2.5km run, 1km swim and 2.5km run.
Stannard and Alterman both registered almost identical times in the first 2.5km run. But it was in the 1km swim in the Shisanling reservoir where Stannard made his move. He exited the water first as the only man to complete the swim in less than 13mins.
With a comfortable lead, Stannard closed out his third aquathlon world title. He previously posted wins in Lausanne in 2006 and Queenstown in 2003.?
Commenting after his race, Richard said, “I have a tactic that I use – it’s not about that first run, you hold back on that first run, and try to work on the swim. Everyone who races it [aquathlon world championships] has rarely swam after they have run, and especially that hard, unless they have raced an aquathlon at this level before. I entered the water in second and then quite quickly put my foot down and just really went.”?
He continued: “Once you get a lead out the water it’s really hard to get caught, so to close down anything substantial is really difficult. I had control and was able to pick up into the finish and enjoy it – it was great.”?
Richard’s performance was testament to the hard work he has put in over the last two years following a car crash, which saw him break both pelvis and hand. Richard added: “I have struggled with injuries for so long – for about 18 months – every time I tried to get fit I got another problem. Finally, since May this year, I have had a clean bill of health and just been building to this, and I have done it, I have done what I set out to do.”?
It wasn’t only the elites who were racing, with the GE Great Britain Age Group Team in action. A team of 39 aquathletes raced delivering 10 medals including four gold, five silver and a bronze.