By David Peddie on 15/07/12 at 8:08 pm
William Huffman of the USA and Slovakia’s Ivana Kuriačková were the winners of the Junior European Cup in Tiszaujvaros after an intense and thrilling weekend of competition.
Similar to the ITU World Cup, this European Cup was divided into semi-final and finals format and the junior athletes had to qualify for the final by finishing in the top eight of their heat.
For Huffman, his victory represents a seamless transition to European racing. His first taste of European racing came in Holten last week where he finished 5th and today’s victory is his first career win.
Huffman served warning of his intentions by winning the third Junior men’s semi final heat in 35.07, comfortably the fastest time of the day. He was just two seconds ahead of Istvan Kiraly (HUN) in second. Shacar Sagiv (ISR) finished third in the heat.
Huffman was joined in the final by compatriot Tony Smoragiewicz, who was runner up in the second semi final, finishing behind Kristof Anheuer (HUN). Ilya Prasolov (RUS) was third.
The first semi final was won by Andras Czigany (HUN) who led home David Pap (HUN) and Amitai Yonah (ISR).
25 Junior Men lined up in the final and with 12 representing home nation Hungary, hopes were high amongst the crowd for a home win.
But a powerful final run from Huffman allowed him overtake his rivals and take his first ever European Cup victory.
Huffman’s compatriot Smoragiewicz finished in second place and Amitai Yonah will be delighted with his first podium finish and a career best.
Ivana Kuriačková made it two wins in a week as she followed up her debut victory in Holten with another European Cup win here.
She played it safe in the semi final heats, finishing a lowly seventh in 40.39 and almost thirty seconds behind the winner Eszter Pap (HUN).
Ticia Szabo (HUN) and Olga Agapova (RUS) finished in the top three of the first semi-final.
Kaidi Kivioja (EST) maintained her fine form in 2012 by winning the second semi-final in 39.36, the fastest time of the day for the Junior women.
Hungarian duo Anna Takacs and Dora Zelovics completed the top three in the second heat.
Again, 25 women lined up in the final and it was Kuriačková who finished strongly on the run to shock the home crowd and pip favourite Eszter Pap to victory by the narrowest five second margin.
Pap had to settle for a silver medal for the second year in a row, having lost by just four seconds to Sophie Colwell (GBR) in 2011.
Kivioja completed the podium with a third place finish, her second podium in a month following victory in Kupiskis.
Find more details about this event - 2012 Tiszaujvaros ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup