2012 Highlights: Outstanding Olympic races

2012 Highlights: Outstanding Olympic races

By Erin Greene on 19/12/12 at 11:00 am

It’s impossible to talk about highlights from the 2012 triathlon season without talking about the biggest event of the year – the Olympics. It was, without a doubt, the central focus of the year with two of the most mind-boggling races we have ever seen.

According to Olympic triathlon history, pre-race favourites have struggled to perform on the Olympic stage. This year’s race saw a monumental shift from this paradigm when several of the pre-race heavyweights made the podium.

Women’s Race
Several standout females toed the Olympic start line. The contingency included a strong Australian team, expert swimmers like Lucy Hall (GBR) and Laura Bennett (USA), fierce runners in Anne Haug (GER) and Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and all around solid triathletes such as Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Helen Jenkins (GBR), Lisa Norden (SWE), Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI), Nicola Spirig (SUI) and more. With such a stacked field, predicting the winner was practically impossible. 

A small pack broke away on the swim, but it did not foreshadow the would-be winners, as a lead group of 22 women entered the second transition together. Fueled by Olympic dreams, 10 competitors pumped out a furious pace to separate themselves from the field.

By the second lap, the group whittled down to just five – Norden, Spirig, Hewitt, Jenkins and Erin Densham (AUS). While the crew first dropped Hewitt followed by Jenkins on the third lap, Groff worked her way back up to the leaders.

Though Densham controlled the pace from the helm, it was Spirig who went sprinting past her on the final straight away. Norden responded to the challenge, and the pair gutted out a photo finish for first and second, with Spirig taking the gold. Behind them, Densham stayed ahead of Groff for third.

Men’s Race:
The men’s competition also featured a deep field of contenders with all-star Russian, German and British teams, in addition to tough Olympic veterans like Simon Whitfield (CAN) and Javier Gomez (ESP). However, with the Brownlee brothers and Gomez in the lineup, the men’s podium appeared more predictable.

Under grey skies and wet conditions, the men’s race got underway with sensational swimmer Richard Varga (SVK) setting a ferocious pace in the Serpentine Lake. Both Brownlee brothers followed, as did Gomez and Alessandro Fabian (ITA).

The small group of five flew off for the bike course, but it wasn’t long before a strong field of 15 men caught up. Joao Silva (POR) ran out of Transition 2 first, trailed hotly by Alistair, Jonny and Gomez. The trio then pounded out an unimaginable pace, clearly announcing themselves as the eventual medallists.

Alistair made his move on the third lap, dropping his brother and forging ahead of Gomez. The Spaniard also quickened his stride, leaving Jonny behind. But Alistair’s blistering speed was too much to chase down. The Brit earned Team GB its first ever triathlon gold with a smoking 29:07 run split. Gomez took silver, while Jonny brought it home for bronze despite having a 15-second penalty.

Elite Men

1. Alistair Brownlee GBR GB 01:46:25
2. Javier Gomez Noya ESP ES 01:46:36
3. Jonathan Brownlee GBR GB 01:46:56
4. David Hauss FRA FR 01:47:14
5. Laurent Vidal FRA FR 01:47:21
6. Jan Frodeno GER DE 01:47:26
7. Alexander Bryukhankov RUS RU 01:47:35
8. Sven Riederer SUI CH 01:47:46
9. Joao Silva POR PT 01:47:51
10. Alessandro Fabian ITA IT 01:48:03

Elite Women

1. Nicola Spirig SUI CH 01:59:48
2. Lisa Norden SWE SE 01:59:48
3. Erin Densham AUS AU 01:59:50
4. Sarah Groff USA US 02:00:00
5. Helen Jenkins GBR GB 02:00:19
6. Andrea Hewitt NZL NZ 02:00:36
7. Ainhoa Murua ESP ES 02:00:56
8. Emma Jackson AUS AU 02:01:16
9. Jessica Harrison FRA FR 02:01:22
10. Kate Mcilroy NZL NZ 02:01:28

Find more details about this event - 2012 London Olympic Games

Responses to "2012 Highlights: Outstanding Olympic races"

Tracker Pixel for Entry