Merle marvels to win U23 World Championship
Your video is loading. If the video fails to load please upgrade your Flash player
The 2015 ITU Women’s Under23 World Championship title went to Audrey Merle after she outran her French compatriot on the blue carpet in a down to the wire finish.
Finishing just a hair after Merle, compatriot Leonie Periault seized the silver medal. Melanie Santos (POR) walked away with the bronze medal, a feat that is especially significant this week as fellow Portuguese Olympic star Vanessa Fernandes was honoured in the ITU Hall of Fame the night before.
Athletes competed in a sprint-distance race due to unexpected weather patterns, which meant the title would go to the one that could produce the most speed.
With the swim shortened to just one lap, the women began the day with a wetsuit,deep-water start in Lake Michigan. Mexican Lizeth Rueda Santos broke away in the water and was able to exit the swim with a 20-second lead heading into the first transition.
Trailing not far behind in the water was Natalie Van Coevorden (AUS), who followed Rueda out of the transition zone and was able to push to create a peloton for the bike leg. Halfway through the cycle, a 12-woman strong pack formed that included Rueda, Merle, Avery Evenson (USA), Johanna Gartman (USA), Shiho Sato (JPN), Chloe Cook (GBR) and Dominika Jamnicky (CAN).
With the bell sounding off on the final lap of the bike, a four-person chase pack caught the leaders making for a total of 16 athletes in T2, leaving the hopes of the podium down to two 2.5 kilometre run laps. It was then that Merle ran with intent, as she began to drop her riding mates. Periault went with Merle, and the two French women ran together up until the very end.
Both women sprinted down the chute side by side, with Merle grabbing the gold medal only by a fraction of a second. Merle took home the bronze in the women’s Junior World Championship last year, so winning the title in 2015 gives her the redemption she was hoping for as she entered the new sport class.
Related Event: 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago
|Results: U23 Women|
|5.||Miriam Casillas García||ESP||01:05:12|
|6.||Vanesa De La Torre||MEX||01:05:20|
|7.||Natalie Van Coevorden||AUS||01:05:23|
|10.||Lizeth Rueda Santos||MEX||01:05:41|
For the first time in triathlon history, a female elite has won back-to-back World Championships. USA’s Gwen Jorgensen was crowned royalty on Friday after winning her 12th straight08:46 - 18 Sep, 2015
Ten paratriathletes were crowned World Champions on the second day of competition at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago, with Australia scoring an awesome three golds.02:53 - 18 Sep, 2015
In anticipation of harsh weather conditions expected for late Friday afternoon, modifications have been made to the schedule on Friday, September 18 for the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago.05:02 - 18 Sep, 2015
When thunderstorms caused the men’s 2015 ITU World Championship men’s junior race to be delayed and shifted to a duathlon, Manoel Messias seized the opportunity to strike hot, scoring his first world title in Chicago.12:59 - 18 Sep, 2015
Representing more than 40 nations, nearly 2000 age group athletes pushed themselves to the limits in search of ITU Age Group Sprint World Championship titles on Thursday.08:22 - 17 Sep, 2015
The 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final Chicago officially kicked off Thursday morning with the under23 men’s World Champion being crowned.01:31 - 17 Sep, 2015
The 2015 World Triathlon Series has been fast and historical, and as the Chicago Grand Final gets underway with the paratriathlon and elite races on Friday and Saturday, the Series finale will most likely be one that the triathlon world will…08:54 - 16 Sep, 2015
The ITU Aquathlon World Championships kicked off a week of action at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago on Wednesday with elite, paratriathlon, junior, U23 and age groupers racing over a 750m swim and 5km run.05:13 - 16 Sep, 2015
WADA and ITU today launched the second installment of WADA’s Legacy Outreach Program series at the World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago, which runs from 15-19 September.05:45 - 15 Sep, 2015
In this special edition we preview the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago, and also look back on some highlights of the season so far, brought to you by Columbia Threadneedle.09:18 - 14 Sep, 2015