The first champions of the week were crowned on Wednesday at the Aquathlon World Championships, which kicked off action at the TransCanada Corp. World Triathlon Grand Final Edmonton.
New Zealand dominated the events, winning the women’s elite and junior titles, as well as the men’s junior division. Japan also enjoyed a successful day, with Yuichi Hosoda and Ryousuke Yamamoto finishing 1-2 in the men’s elite race.
The USA’s Tommy Zaferes executed a swift swim on the one-lap 750m course, but his 10-second lead wasn’t enough to ward off the Japanese. Hosoda took the lead after the first of two run laps and managed to hang on to the top spot through the finish line.
“I thought this aquathlon is very, very good for swim practice for me,” Hosoda said. “This is a different kind of swimming with a diving start. It was a good running session for me. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’m very happy.”
Teammate Ryosuke Yamamoto took off after Hosoda for silver while bronze was left for Ukraine’s Yegor Martynenko with the second-fastest run split of the day. Alessio Fioravanti (ITA) was the fastest man in the U23 category, while Kyle Smith (NZL) took top honors in the men’s junior race.
In the women’s race, it was Great Britain’s Hannah Kitchen that headed for transition first, but Anneke Jenkins(NZL) surprised the experienced aquathlon field when she sprinted past them on the two-lap run for gold. Last year’s bronze medal winner Yuliya Yelistratova (UKR) upgraded to a silver, while Kitchen took third.
“It was good, I really enjoyed,” Jenkins said. “It’s a good warmup, I had to do some hard training today. It’s good to do the swim. I got lost twice coming out of the swim, so it’s good to get those things out of the way.”
In the para-aquathlon races, Hungary’s Peter Boronkay was the first athlete to cross the finish line, clenching the first world title of the World Championship events in the men’s PT4 sport class. Alejandro Sanchez Palomero (ESP) won the men’s PT3 division, while reigning triathlon World Champion Melissa Reid (GBR) added an aquathlon world championship title to her name in the women’s PT5.