Wian Sullwald runs away to 2012 ITU Junior Men’s World Championship

By Merryn Sherwood | 21 Oct, 2012

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Highlights of the 2012 Junior Men Race in Auckland

South Africa’s Wian Sullwald‘s solid all-round performance in dismal conditions helped him win the 2012 ITU Triathlon Junior World Championship, and add another highlight in a history making day in Auckland.

Sullwald was part of a eight-man lead group for most of the bike leg before he ran clear of France’s Simon Viain and Ireland’s Constantine Doherty on the second of two 2.5km laps to become the first ITU World Champion from Africa at the junior, U23 and elite level. Doherty also became the first ITU World Championship medallist from Ireland.

All this happened just hours after Fumika Matsumoto became the first ITU World Champion from Japan. Just like Matsumoto, Sullwald said his story was also one of redemption after years of bad luck.

“It’s a dream come true for me since I started racing world triathlon,” Sullwald said. “Every year a junior I’ve been having bad luck at worlds and you know I said since the beginning of the year my focus was this race. Every training session I’ve been thinking about this race and it paid off today.”

“My first year I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t experienced enough, so I just didn’t have a good race, my second year in Budapest I had a bad crash coming into the last lap of the race, in Beijing I passed out. And you know everything happens for a reason and I’m actually glad it all happened it makes it the more special for me today.”

The rain was already pouring when the men entered the water for their 750m swim, and Sullwald was one of the first out just behind France’s Dorian Connix, Great Britain’s Gorden Benson, Japan’s Ryosuke Maeda and Norway’s Jorgen Gunderson.

But it was the rain-slicked bike leg that made the difference in this race and an initial group of over 20 was whittled down to 12 at the end of the first lap.  Then the group was narrowed to eight at the halfway mark, as both the conditions and the tough course claimed victims.

But with Doherty riding fearlessly off the front, Benson, Sullwald, Viain, Kristian Blummenfelt, Marcel Walkington, Ryosuke Maeda and Shiruba Taniguchi sat in just behind and worked to increase the lead back to the chase.

Doherty entered and exited T2 first but was pulled in by Sullwald on the first lap. From there the South African cruised to the win by 14 seconds, in the biggest margin across all six ITU World Championship races in Auckland this weekend.

While that result looked secure for the majority of the run, it came down to the final few steps to decide the rest of the medals as Viain just found the extra burst to claim silver. Doherty, who still has two years left in the junior category, could hardly believe he had made the podium at all.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet, I have to keep reminding myself where I was,” he said. “I knew coming into this race I need to bury myself on the cycle and just hang on in the run if I was to get anything out of it, even top ten. So that’s what I did, I just held on for dear life. I didn’t even even think until the end…I still don’t think I realised that I’ve come third.”

Sullwald posted the fastest run split of the day at 15:46, but the second fastest split went to the Netherlands Jorik van Egdom who managed to make up for a poor swim with two strong showings on the bike and run to finish eighth overall.

Related Event: 2012 Barfoot and Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland
20 - Oct, 2012 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Javier Gomez Noya ESP 02:00:29
2. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 02:00:31
3. Sven Riederer SUI 02:01:18
4. Steffen Justus GER 02:01:40
5. Gregor Buchholz GER 02:01:46
6. Kyle Jones CAN 02:01:48
7. Dmitry Polyanskiy RUS 02:01:50
8. Ivan Raña Fuentes ESP 02:01:56
9. Richard Murray RSA 02:02:00
10. David Mcnamee GBR 02:02:06
Results: Elite Women
1. Anne Haug GER 02:10:48
2. Gwen Jorgensen USA 02:11:00
3. Barbara Riveros CHI 02:11:01
4. Lisa Norden SWE 02:11:03
5. Jodie Stimpson GBR 02:11:03
6. Rachel Klamer NED 02:11:09
7. Andrea Hewitt NZL 02:11:10
8. Kate Mcilroy NZL 02:11:12
9. Sarah True USA 02:11:20
10. Juri Ide JPN 02:11:21
Results: U23 Men
1. Aaron Royle AUS 01:57:17
2. Fernando Alarza ESP 01:57:20
3. Thomas Bishop GBR 01:57:21
4. Pierre Le Corre FRA 01:57:29
5. Ryan Fisher AUS 01:57:51
6. Matthew Sharp GBR 01:58:49
7. Jason Wilson BAR 01:59:15
8. Gregory Billington USA 01:59:32
9. Igor Polyanskiy RUS 01:59:40
10. Ryan Bailie AUS 01:59:50
Results: U23 Women
1. Non Stanford GBR 02:13:06
2. Sarissa De Vries NED 02:13:15
3. Joanna Brown CAN 02:14:12
4. Claudia Rivas MEX 02:14:26
5. Natalie Van Coevorden AUS 02:14:28
6. Sara Vilic AUT 02:15:06
7. Ashlee Bailie AUS 02:15:09
8. Lucy Hall GBR 02:15:11
9. Simone Ackermann RSA 02:15:24
10. Maaike Caelers NED 02:15:41
Results: Junior Men
1. Wian Sullwald RSA 01:01:44
2. Simon Viain FRA 01:01:58
3. Constantine Doherty IRL 01:01:59
4. Kristian Blummenfelt NOR 01:02:31
5. Gordon Benson GBR 01:02:45
6. Marcel Walkington AUS 01:02:58
7. Ryousuke Maeda JPN 01:02:59
8. Jorik Van Egdom NED 01:02:59
9. Eduardo Moreno Castañeda MEX 01:03:04
10. Dorian Coninx FRA 01:03:06
Results: Junior Women
1. Fumika Matsumoto JPN 01:08:33
2. Leonie Periault FRA 01:08:36
3. Tamara Gorman USA 01:08:39
4. Sarah Wilm GER 01:08:44
5. Maddie Dillon NZL 01:08:50
6. Amelie Kretz CAN 01:09:02
7. Sumire Ohara JPN 01:09:02
8. Elise Salt NZL 01:09:04
9. Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR 01:09:35
10. Luisa Condeço POR 01:09:40
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