Hauss and Tremblay secure triathlon World Cup spoils in Japan
Monday, 23 April 2012
April 23 - France's David Hauss and Canada's Kathy Tremblay reigned supreme in the second International Triathlon Union (ITU) 2012 World Cup event on the Japanese island of Ishigaki.
It was the Frenchman's first ITU World Cup victory and he was in contention throughout following a strong swim and cycle ride that put him among a seven-man group that broke away from the chasing pack.
But 28-year-old Hauss (pictured top), who has already qualified for London 2012, fell behind as five of the group nosed ahead, and he had to show superb courage and no little skill to come back to win.
Hauss made a late charge for the line and overturned a 50-second deficit to edge ahead of home favourite and Beijing 2008 Olympian Ryosuke Yamamoto take the spoils with a time of 1 hour 50min 06sec.
"I did it, for sure it's a great day for me – I'm really happy to win this race," a delighted Hauss said afterwards.
"I was really pushing hard on the swim to try to break away and that's what I did, then we worked really hard on the bike.
"After the bike [stint] I thought it would be really hard for me, but I thought 'I'm not pressured' so I had to go as fast as I could.
"I was in good shape and was flying, so after two laps I controlled the race and I really enjoyed the last lap.
"Finally I did it!"
Hauss' victory was also the fifth ITU World Cup win for France in six months, after Jessica Harrison, Carole Peon, Laurent Vidal and Etienne Diemunsch previously triumphed in Tongyeong in South Korea, Guatapé in Colombia and Mooloolaba in Australia.
Italy's Davide Uccellari also produced a superb final sprint to finish second with Argentine Gonzalo Raul Tellechea picking up the bronze medal.
"In the second part of the race I stayed in the first group in the bicycle – I did not expend energy and in the run I used all the energy I have," said Uccellari.
"The medal is a very nice present for me, for my family, for my girl, for my team [and] for the Italian Federation.
"It is the best result of my life, after my second [place] in the European Championships."
"I am very happy, it was the best race of my life – I never thought I could win [bronze] but I just did my best," said Tellechea after he picked up his first medal.
Tremblay (pictured above) celebrated her maiden World Cup victory after an impressive performance in the women's event, all the more important as she looks to push herself into Olympic contention.
The 30-year-old was first out of the water and was among the leaders during the bike ride, but it was in the run that the Canadian really took charge.
She ran ahead of Ireland's Aileen Morrison, who came to Ishigaki hoping to shake off a disappointing performance at the ITU World Series opener in Sydney last week, and compatriot Sarah-Anne Brault.
Also in contention as the race wore on was South African Gillian Sanders, who looked like continuing her fine recent form following her African Championships victory at the start of the month.
However, the battle for honours eventually came down to Tremblay and Morrison, with the Irishwoman forced to settle for the runner-up spot 20 seconds adrift, having also finished second in Ishigaki last year, after the Canadian broke the tape in 2hours 05min 38sec.
Brault's bronze was another boost for Canada as it looks like adding another Olympic women's spot to that already secured by former world number one Paula Findlay.
Sanders' fourth place represented her best World Cup result.
Tremblay's own hopes of making it to London are also greatly enhanced after she achieved a useful eighth place finish in Sydney last week.
"In 17 years that [triumph] has never happened to me, but I guess you know nothing is taken for granted," she said afterwards.
"If it happened today it's because I worked really hard.
"I do have a lot of respect for all my competition because I know they work as hard as me, but I guess today I was just able to put it all together."
She added: "I owe a lot to my coach and my boyfriend, because without those two guys in my life I would not be here today.
"I'm really healthy in my mind and when you are well in your head, your body is well and we've been doing great training.
"I just have fun, I play triathlon now instead of taking it too seriously, and it just seems to be working."
For Morrison there was disappointment at missing out on victory but also satisfaction at another solid performance.
"I'm pleased with that," she said.
"I'm obviously disappointed I couldn't have a chance at the gold medal but Kathy had an amazing race and she ran really well.
"She really put on that burst coming out of T2 – I just wish I could have been up there with her and had a better chance, but I'm pleased."
Brault said: "I did not really know how this would turn out.
"I had raced against a few of these girls before and I just knew I had to get a good swim.
"I raced in Sydney last weekend and it didn't really turn out – I didn't finish so it kind of fuelled the fire for this weekend."
Elsewhere, Japanese youngster Yuka Sato, the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, came sixth in the women's race, the highest finish by a home athlete.
April 2012: Hauss targets triathlon World Cup Series glory in Japan