By Merryn Sherwood on 25/12/13 at 10:42 pm
In triathlon, you have to expect the unexpected. It’s one of the hallmarks of triathlon, that nothing is ever certain no matter the training time you put in. That was never truer in two crucial World Championship races this year. We wouldn’t say they were “best of” moments, but these unpredictable situations were certainly some of the most memorable
At the Mixed Relay World Championships, Non Stanford crashed out (sustaining a broken arm in the process), which ended-up Great Britain’s hopes of winning a hat-trick of consecutive Mixed Relay world titles. Instead, team Germany won on homesoil, which certainly pleased the crowd. Ironically enough, the Germans were subjected to a similar situation as the Brits the previous year when they were leading the 2012 race in Stockholm on the final leg before Steffen Justus took a slide on slippery roads and put them out of contention.
In the women’s race in London the element of surprise struck twice. First Anne Haug suffered a panic attack in the swim and exited a whopping 50 seconds back. While she had bridged up from bigger deficits in races earlier in the season, this one was too big to overcome putting her out of world title contention. However, the powerhouse bravely raced on and managed to finish in a position that was enough to earn herself the overall series bronze medal.
But possibly the toughest to take all year was the sight of Gwen Jorgensen, who was the favourite to win in London and with it her first world title, withdrawing from the race after going down on just the first bike lap. Bruised and battered with mechanical problems, Jorgensen struggled to catch up and eventually had to withdrawal from the race. But don’t doubt it will leave Jorgensen with fire in her belly come 2014.