Japan closes Asian Games Triathlon competition with Mixed Relay gold
Japan closed out the Triathlon Asian Games competition with a masterclass team performance to earn Mixed Relay gold in Hangzhou! Team China secured a sensational silver in front of huge crowds and Team Hong Kong capped the podium with bronze.
Athletes were welcomed by cooler conditions at the Chun’an Jieshou Sports Centre as twelve teams lined up to battle for glory and positions in the thrilling super-sprint Triathlon Mixed Relay format, at the 2023 Asian Games Hangzhou. Teams were made up of four athletes (man/woman/man/woman) and each member completed a 300m swim, 6.67km bike and 1.86km run.
The first team members were off and racing and it was Uzbekistan’s Aleksandr Kurishov who led the field of twelve men through the swim. Japan’s Kenji Nener was right on his heels followed by Korea’s Ji Hwan Kim, Hong Kong’s Tsz To Wong, Kazakhstan’s Meirlan Iskakov and China’s Mingxu Li.
Nener was the first athlete out of transition who took charge of the race immediately and it wasn’t long before the group of men who had exited the swim together had broken up into smaller groups on the bike course.
By the run Nener, who won gold in the men’s individual event, had opened up a sizeable gap for team Japan. Kurishov was looking strong in second and Kim in third.
Takahashi had almost 40 seconds on the field and maintained this strong lead during the swim. Juldybina and Jeong were caught up to on the bike by Hong Kong’s Bailee Brown and China’s Xinyu Lin, who sequentially entered the run course.
Takahashi handed over to Takumi Hojo who set off like lightning speed and into the lake to commence his super-sprint portion of the race.
By the end of the run, Hojo had extended the gap to over 1 minute and 10 seconds and handed over to Yuka Sato, for the final stage of the relay.
China’s Anqi Huang made up time in the swim to exit the water with Hall. Korea were a few seconds back again.
On the final stage of the bike, Sato looked into complete control of lead position and Hall and Huang were taking turns in second and third.
China’s Huang produced a quick transition to start the run in front of Hall, who was racing for team Hong Kong.
Sato approached the finish line and was greeted by the rest of her Japanese teammates to be awarded the gold medal in the Mixed Relay competition in the Asian Games
“It was an amazing event and a lot of volunteers have made everything nice and run very smoothly. I’m very proud of our Japanese team today and I’m over the moon that we produced another gold medal performance,” said Kenji Nener.
“I believe this medal is due to the solidarity of the team members,” said Yuka Sato.
“As this is one of the major events, we all wanted to put our best foot forward. I’ve had a rough six weeks with illness and haven’t had the best opportunity to show what I am capable but I believe the results at the Asian Games will assist me with next year’s qualification to Paris,” added Nener.
“Before this competition for a certain period of time, my state was not very good however with this competition, I regained an opportunity for Paris and can be better prepared to be in a good position come next year,” said Yuko Takahashi.
“We trained very hard and did our best to reflect our training really. We hope to achieve this state and make better preparation into the lead up to the Olympic Games,” said Takumi Hojo.
“Before this Asian Games, I didn’t show my best in the lead-up to this event however I hope to keep this form ahead of Paris next year,” said Sato.
Huang delivered a brilliant performance for team China to secure silver in Hangzhou.
“For today’s competition, we all did our best and performed really well. We’re very lucky to compete in this Asian Games and earn our silver medal and we are all very pleased to win this medal,” said team China.
Hall brought it home for team Hong Kong, sealing bronze on the podium at the 2023 Asian Games.
“We are delighted to win the bronze medal in this competition and we performed very well in the competition.”
“We came and delivered what we had to do. To do this as a team was really special,” said team Hong Kong.
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