With six top 10 World Triathlon Series finishes, the men’s breakout star of the 2014 season goes to Joao Pereira. While the Portugese rising star showed glimmers of brilliance with a bronze-medal finish at the U23 World Championships in 2009, he’d yet to translate that young speed to elite hardware. But this year all of that changed.
Pereira picked up his first top 10 finish of the year in Cape Town with the third fastest run of the day. With a sprint race up next, Pereira’s undeniable speed played to his favour in a big way. Despite racing heavyweights Javier Gomez and the Brownlee brothers, Pereira put on the blinders, put his head down and sprinted his way past the 2012 Olympic podium to clench his first WTS medal.
Simplesmente super feliz :) obrigado a todos pelas mensagens e pela força, Step by Step :) pic.twitter.com/5jJj8mbuCU— joao sales pereira (@joao_pereira87) May 31, 2014
He then proved his bronze medal wasn’t a one-off fluke, as he nearly ran down none other than four-time World Champion Gomez himself in Chicago over twice the distance of the London course.
@triathlonlive can Pereira close on Gomez here? he is flying but might run out of real estate!!— Andrew Dewhurst (@DewyNZ) June 29, 2014
Pereira finished up his season with three more top finishes for a fifth-place ranking overall for the season. Look out folks, there’s a new kid in town and he can run.