By Peter Holmes on 12/11/09 at 5:37 pm
With points scored at the ITU U23 Triathlon World Championships, ITU U23 Triathlon Continental Championships and top three results on from the ITU Triathlon World Cups, the triathletes had to show great consistency alongside the ability to deliver big performances throughout a tough racing calendar.
Seear’s silver medal on home turf at the world championships helped him towards the top spot, with solid performances at the Mooloolaba, Tiszaujvaros and Ishigaki World Cups adding to his score. Russia’s Ivan Tutukin finished second following a breakthrough season which included a bronze medal at the Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup in Hungary, with Lukas Salvisberg from Switzerland taking the third spot.
“My 2009 season has been a dream,” said Seear. “It did have its ups and downs, but all in all it was a fantastic year for learning, gaining experience and racing the world’s best. I consider myself lucky to have a great team around me, my family, my coach Shaun Stephens and the endless support of the Australian Institute of Sport and our training squad. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in 2010.”
ITU U23 Triathlon Rankings – Men
1. James Seear, Australia. 1785pts
2. Ivan Tutukin, Russia. 1280pts
3. Lukas Salvisberg, Switzerland. 1086pts
4. Denis Vasiliev, Russia. 1044pts
5. Franz Löschke, Germany. 1034pts
Sapunova, a member of the ITU Sport Development Programme, dominated the women’s side of the rankings having won the European U23 title and taken fifth at the world championships. A strong fifth place performance at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup in Mexico last weekend sealed the rankings win, whilst Rebecca Robisch from Germany moved up into third place having taken fourth in the same event. 2008 U23 world champion Daniela Ryf finished second overall.
ITU U23 Triathlon Rankings – Women
1. Yuliya Sapunova, Ukraine. 1749pts
2. Daniela Ryf, Switzerland. 950pts
3. Rebecca Robisch, Germany. 905pts
4. Vicky Holland, Great Britain. 887pts
5. Paulina Kotfica, Poland. 861pts
The U23 rankings winners pocketed $5000 for their efforts with second place awarded $3000 and the third place finishers $2000. The U23 rankings provide athletes with a platform to compete on as they move from the junior ranks to the senior elite stage, increasing competitive opportunities and providing financial incentives for developing athletes.