By Peter Holmes on 05/11/09 at 11:56 pm
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Top Moments 2009 - Tongyeong Sprint
Welcome to the first of ITU’s 2009 Top Moments, as each Friday we take a look back and bring you exclusive footage from the many highlights from the past season.
At the end of the series we’ll ask you the viewer to vote on your favourite moment.
The 2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series will be remembered for the number of close races which were decided by sprint finishes.
The narrowest of margins separated 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist Bevan Docherty and reigning Commonwealth Games champion Brad Kahlefeldt at the first race of the year in Tongyeong, Republic of Korea, as they fought it out to the line down the seemingly never ending home straight.
In reality the sprint finish was determined as the athletes came off the bike. With two breakaway groups featuring Frederic Belaubre, Mark Fretta, Alexander Brukhankov and Dmitry Polyansky already up the road the chasing pack which included many of the best triathletes in the world had to put the hammer down to catch them up.
Having caught Polyansky, the last of the breakaway athletes, with just one kilometre of running remaining the wheels were already starting to come off for Kris Gemmell, Docherty and Kahlefeldt. Gemmell was the first to drop off the pace as the Russian, New Zealander and Australian headed for the finish. As the two men from the southern hemisphere started their sprint some 300m from the line Polyansky’s earlier efforts meant that he couldn’t handle the final finishing pace required to keep up as the race neared its close.
Side by side the two athletes gave absolutely everything as they charged down the finish chute to the awaiting finish tape with Kahlefeldt’s dive for the line not quite enough to prevent Docherty from taking the honours. The margin of victory, the closest in triathlon history, was determined by the photo finish camera.
Make sure to check back next Friday for the next installment of the ITU’s 2009 Top Moments exclusively on triathlon.org.
Find more details about this event - 2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Tongyeong