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Russia’s Dmitry Polyanskiy claimed his second Tongyeong World Cup title in a row finishing ahead of Poland’s Marek Jaskolka. Polyanskiy was joined on the podium by younger brother Igor Polyanskiy who took his first ITU World Cup medal with bronze.
The Polyanskiy brothers worked together on the swim and bike to set each other up for the run. Within the first lap, Dmitry dropped his challengers and never looked back all the way to the finish line.
“I’m very happy, I have the victory again. It’s a very good swimming course here, fast water and Raoul had the best swim today. The bike course is a little hilly so for me it’s very good too,” said Dmitry. “Today I think I showed a good performance and I feel rested after the Olympic Games. I think I will be ready next week in Yokohama.”
A gutsy performance by Jaskolka placed him among the leaders throughout, but it was his final push on the run that secured him silver. Igor established his third place early in the run and held on for bronze 40 seconds behind older brother Dmitry.
The men dove into Tongyeong Bay mid-morning for a non-wetsuit swim in 22 degree waters. France’s Raoul Shaw was the strongest swimmer of the day, leading the field around the course. The Polyanskiy brothers tucked in behind Shaw along with Benjamin Shaw and the group of four entered T1 with the edge over the field.
By the second bike lap the slight advantage had disappeared as a large pack of 16 riders had formed including Korea’s Ju Seok Kim, Akos Vanek (HUN), and Australians Ryan Fisher, Kenji Nener, Ryan Bailie, Drew Box and Taylor Cecil. Behind, a smaller chase pack of nine was trailing 40 seconds which included Aliaksandr Vasilevich (BLR) and Japan’s Syogo Ishitsuka.
The leaders gained even more time on the chasers all the way to the bell lap when a breakaway attempt was made by Fisher who steamed through the transition area. Bryce McMaster and Ju Seok Kim took the bait and went after Fisher, but the effort was short lived when the main group reformed to enter T2.
Raoul Shaw began the run first closely followed by Box, but Dmitry Polyanskiy soon showed his strength overtaking Shaw to take the lead on the first lap. Thirty seconds behind the Russian, the other two podium positions had also been decided with Jaskolka moving into second position and Igor dropping runners to move into third. Shaw began to lose time on the run for an eventual ninth place finish.
Dmitry appeared strong throughout the four lap run before cruising over the finish line for gold in a time of 1:48:39. Jaskolka celebrated his silver down the finish shoot for his second World Cup medal.
“I’m very happy it’s my best international result so far,” said Jaskolka. “I had a really good swim today, but I felt really tired on the bike. On the run I tried not to push too hard on the first lap because I knew it would be really hot and I struggled really on the last two laps. I thought I would come a bit closer to Dmitry, but Dmitry is a really tough guy and I didn’t have a chance, but I’m still very pleased with the result.
“In Ishigaki I got the bronze medal in 2011 and it’s nice to have another medal, now silver even better especially after the Olympics where I was really disappointed with my result.”
Igor Polyanskiy claims his first World Cup medal and is proving that he has become a close competitor for Dmitry, while at the same time working together.
“I’m really happy, I came here wanting to be on the podium,” said Igor Polyanskiy. “It all went well for me, we stayed just behind Raoul on the swim and on the bike we tried to go away but we couldn’t because there were too few people. I was ready for the run and I did what I wanted by coming third.
“My brother helped me in the whole race, on the swim we swam together on the bike we worked together the whole time. We are happy because we are both on the podium.”
Poland’s Sylwester Kuster just missed out on the medals in fourth, while Korea’s Ji Hwan Kim had a great race to please the home crowds to finish in fifth.