By Paul Groves on 18/10/15 at 9:55 am
Max Studer SUI came to Alanya with his mind focussed. What did he want? Victory, nothing less. The temperatures soared with the water at 27.4C and the air at 34C. But up against him now were two very strong athletes from Kazakhstan. The two higher-ranked athletes, Temirlan Temirov and Ayan Beisenbayev have raced well throughout the year and came to Alanya ready to do battle.
A strong Israeli team, led by their coach Uri Zilbermann, were cheered by the performance of Yuval Gome the day before and so, at the start of the race, there was tremendous excitement. The Russian-speaking athletes posed for photos together and there was great enthusiasm amongst the photographers for the Russian twins, Grigory and Mikhail Antipov.
The beach was packed with spectators. The athletes took their positions on the start and suddenly it was all go. The water was churned by the 48 junior men as they hit the sea. A straight out and back loop of 750m saw one athlete go wide and using this tactic avoided the white water in the pack. It was Temirlan Temirov KAZ who led the pack out. About 20 athletes went over the timing mat in the first couple of seconds and rushed up into T1 where, to the astonishment of everyone, a large black dog was playing catch with the technical officials. The athletes fortunately managed to avoid the four-footed friend and a group of 16 set off for the three-lap bike.
Studer was 16th out of the water but well-placed on the bike and it was he who led the break away with Endre Espedal NOR to enter T2 with a 15 second advantage. It was the Norwegian who led out onto the scorching run. The Russian twins were back in the pack but were known for their run power.
There was a slight breeze coming off the sea but the run course, with its climb up through the old port was like an oven. Athletes took on water at every opportunity and after the first of two laps it was Studer leading by a few metres with Mikhail Antipov chasing. Tucked away in the chasing athletes was Ran Sagiv ISR who looked strong and relaxed in the heat and just behind him was Grigory Antipov.
The final lap saw Studer once again stamp his mark on the race and with a final acceleration on the carpet, took the finish tape for the second year running. Behind him Mikhail Antipov took silver but just behind him and running so well was Sagiv. Gold Silver and Bronze to be shared by Switzerland, Russia and Israel.