By Merryn Sherwood on 24/08/11 at 4:39 am
It was a fast and furious weekend in Lausanne, with three different world titles run and won, but the sprint distance races also had implications beyond the individual world championships. They were the penultimate round of the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series.
So with this year’s Beijing Grand Final where the 2011 ITU World Champions will be decided just a few weeks away, it’s time for a quick wrap on just what happened in Lausanne and how it affected the overall 2011 ITU World Championship rankings.
In the race for the women’s title, Chile’s Barbara Riveros Diaz had led the field into Lausanne, but whether or not she would stay on top of the rankings was up to Helen Jenkins’ (GBR) result. The way the final ITU World Championships rankings work is that the top four results from the Dextro Energy Triathlon Series will count in the final rankings. Therefore, even though Riveros Diaz won the ITU sprint world championship, Jenkins’ fourth placed finish was enough to put her at the top of the rankings heading into Beijing as it dropped her 33rd place score from in Sydney - where she had a bike crash - and replaced it with that top four finish. It means that Jenkins leads Riveros Diaz 2913 points to 2712.
Canadian Paula Findlay is third with 2637, and still a big chance to feature in the world championship medals if she can reclaim her early season form. Findlay was unstoppable in the first three races, winning Sydney, Madrid and Kitzbühel, but the 22-year old’s second half of the season has been hampered by a hip injury – that forced her to pull out of her hometown World Cup event in Edmonton and resulted in a 29th place finish in London. Findlay did not race in Lausanne, but instead raced in the Canadian championships in Kelowna last weekend.
Not to be forgotten is New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt, who is just one point behind Findlay with 2636 and still very much within reach of a podium place. Hewitt claimed bronze in Lausanne, putting her right in contention to podium. It’s no surprise that an Australian called Emma rounds out the top five, but it is surprising that it is Emma Jackson who is in her debut elite ITU season. Jackson has 2251 points, and a good performance in Beijing could see her make the podium.
In the men’s field, it appearst the world championship medallists will come from some combination of Alistair Brownlee, Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez after Alistair took the rankings lead in almost exactly the same way as Jenkins did in Switzerland. As Lausanne was Alistair Brownlee’s fifth race in 2011, it meant that his only non podium finish - 29th in Sydney after suffering a fall in the run - was dropped and replaced with his third in Lausanne. Alistair now has 3085 points, Jonathan has 2965 points and Gomez sits with 2858 points.
One thing is for sure, it’s certain to be a fight down to the finish. Last year, Gomez won the men’s title with 3789 points, a whopping 650 points ahead of silver medallist Steffen Justus. Other than in Sydney where Alistair Brownlee slipped and fell, neither a Brownlee or Gomez has finished lower than sixth in a series race. Along the way, they have collected 11 series medals this year and are no stranger to sharing the podium with one another. The danger man is Alexander Brukhankov, the big Russian has collected two silver medals, and was excellent in the London race when he claimed silver, sandwiched between the Brownlees on the podium. Brukhankov has 2699 points. France’s David Hauss is currently in fifth with 2405 points.
The Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Rankings are used to determine the best performing triathletes of the season. An athlete’s final score is obtained by adding the four best scores in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series events and the ITU Triathlon World Cup events, plus the points gained in the Grand Final. A maximum of two ITU Triathlon World Cup events scores will count for the final rankings. The Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Rankings are the first priority list to determine the eligible athletes for the Grand Final, the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series events and the ITU Triathlon World Cup events. A win in Beijing has 1200 points on offer, with 1100 to second and 1027 to third.
While the ITU World Champions will be crowned in Beijing, it is not the end of the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series, with the rescheduled Yokohama round to take place on September 19. Yokohama was originally scheduled for May, but rescheduled after the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Points from Yokohama will count towards the 2012 series rankings.
Find more details about this event - 2011 Lausanne ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championships