By Erin Greene on 02/09/12 at 1:49 pm
The day belonged to Eva Nystrom (SWE) who led from nearly start to finish at the ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. With a masterful bike leg, Nystrom secured an insurmountable lead to claim her first world title and second consecutive World Championship podium. Lucy Gossage of Great Britain was the closest to Nystorm for second place, while May Kerstens (NED) made a come-from-behind dash to the finish for third.
Only on the first discipline did anyone else manage to outpace the victorious Swede. In the first 10km run, Kerstens, Susanne Svendsen (DEN) and 2011 World Champion Melanie Burke (NZL) led the field of 18 women. Gossage surged ahead on the final run lap to hop on her bike just seconds before Svendeson and Kerstens.
Within the first 13km of the hilly 150km course, Gossage pulled 40 seconds ahead of Nystrom and Svendsen, while Kerstens rode 20 metres behind the pair. But the powerful Nystrom worked to close the gap to Gossage, narrowing the distance to just 15 seconds by 20km mark. Meanwhile, behind them, Svendsen, Kerstens and Burke rode together 40 seconds back.
Nystrom overtook Gossage by the second lap and blazed through the next 50 kilometres, adding nearly three minutes between herself and her opposition. Behind Nystrom, Gossage maintained her second-place position, while Switzerland’s own Karin Gerber cycled into third. Kerstens held strong in fourth, but with only a two-minute advantage over another Swiss Maja Jacober who had just overtaken Burke at the end of three laps.
Nystrom dismounted to make her way to the final 30km run five minutes ahead Gossage and more than 12 minutes ahead of Gerber. The already sizeable distance increased even more by just the third run kilometre where Nystrom pushed the pace to a seven-minute lead. In the final stretch, Gossage made a last-ditch attempt to run Nystrom down, making up two minutes with 7.5km to go. But it wasn’t enough to keep last year’s runner up from taking the world title this year.
Nystrom scorched through the finish to collect her first World Championship gold in 7 hours, 5 minutes and 48 seconds, just missing the course record by little more than an minute and besting her previous course time by 10 minutes. Gossage took silver 4 minutes and 21 seconds later, while Kerstens avenged her missed podium last year with a bronze medal time of 7 hours, 25 minutes and 25 seconds.
Find more details about this event - 2012 Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships