Tilda Mansson delivers a powerful run to claim gold at the Wollongong Cup

by Olalla Cernuda on 20 Apr, 2024 04:26 • Español
Tilda Mansson delivers a powerful run to claim gold at the Wollongong Cup

With another impressive sprint finish, Swedish young star Tilda Mansson reigned supreme at the Wollongong World Cup to claim the victory. The young Swedish has already three gold medals in World Cups on her tally, all of them decided by just centimeters. Second and third place were also decided with a photo finish, with Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto claiming the silver medal and Ainsley Thorpe (NZL) awarded the last spot on the podium.

Wollongong made its debut on the World Triathlon circuit with a Sprint race that had it all: 750m swim on pristine waters, followed by a demanding 20km including a hill climb on each of the five laps of the cycling course, culminating in a challenging 5km hilly run. And the wind and drops of rain at some points during the race didn’t make it any easier.

32 women lined up on the beach on Saturday early afternoon and it was Emma Jeffcoat (AUS) proving once again that she is one of the best swimmers on the circuit. She led the pack out of the water to climb the steps that led to transition followed by Sophia Howell (CAN) and Sian Rainsley (GBR), but they were not able to open a gap big enough for them to get on their bikes by themselves. Before the athletes faced the first climb up the famous lighthouse of Wollongong, two thirds on the field were together and together they rode for the rest of the 20km.

The large group managed to stay away from trouble navigating carefully the technical sections of the course, dropping a few athletes like Jeffcoat or Kira Hedgeland before making it safely to the second transition.

As soon as the women were on their running shoes, Rachel Klamer (NED) led a group of seven athletes on the first of the three climbs up the lighthouse, followed closely by Erika Hawley (BER), Ainsley Thorpe (NZL), Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto (COL), Ellie Hoitink (AUS), Tilda Mansson (SWE) and Roksana Slupek (POL), with Tereza Zimovjanova (CZE) and Lisa Perterer (AUT) trying desperatedly to stay in touch with them.

The leading seven run shoulder to shoulder trying to avoid going too early, and finally it was the Swedish two-times Junior world champion making the move and sprinting with the finish line on sight. But her win was not easy, as Klamer, Thorpe and Velasquez Soto followed her steps and tried to chase her until the end.

But Mansson has proved that even being still a young and developing athlete, she is a tough one to beat when it comes to a sprint finish. The young Swedish found an extra gear with the finish tape on sight and claimed in Wollongong the third World Cup gold of her career, all of them with sprint finishes. Behind her, the photo finish camera showed that the second place was for Velasquez Soto, a place that will secure her position on the Olympic qualification rankings and almost guarantees that she can get a ticket to the Paris 2024 Games. Third place was for New Zealand’s Ainsley Thorpe, while Rachel Klamer (NED) was first out of the podium, in fourth place.

Erika Hawley (BER) finished in fifth place, a position that also gives the young Bermudian hopes for her Olympic classification. All five top athletes on the day crossed the finish line with less than four seconds of difference between the winner and the 5th place.

Roksana Slupek (POL) crossed the finish line in sixth place, followed by Ellie Hoitink (AUS), Jolanda Anen (SUI), Romana Gajdosova (SLK) and Sian Rainsley (GBR) rounding the top 10.

Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Cup Wollongong
20 Apr, 2024 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Luke Willian AUS 00:52:51
2. Jamie Riddle RSA 00:53:14
3. Diego Moya CHI 00:53:14
4. Tayler Reid NZL 00:53:15
5. Callum McClusky AUS 00:53:20
Results: Elite Women
1. Tilda Månsson SWE 01:00:39
2. Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto COL 01:00:40
3. Ainsley Thorpe NZL 01:00:40
4. Rachel Klamer NED 01:00:40
5. Erica Hawley BER 01:00:42
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