By Paul Groves on 13/08/15 at 12:02 pm
Tiszaújváros is a not very well held secret. A small town, not really much history, indeed construction only really started in the mid-1950s. What it lacks in history it more than makes up for in sport and that is the secret.
The local organising committee has worked tirelessly over the years to build up this event to become a focal point for athletes from all over the world. No, this is not your usual event. This is a series of races over the weekend that from qualifying events delivers the fastest athletes to the finals. Short, sharp, fast and furious. For athletes, coaches and spectators alike this is a weekend to see our sport at its best.
“This town is all about triathlon”, said Andreas Schilling DEN – how true he is.
The Elite had the pleasure of an ITU World Cup. The Juniors had their own sprint style races with the semi-finals covering a swim of 500m (2 laps), Bike: 12km (2 laps) and Run: 3,2km (2 laps). The Finals were slightly longer with a Swim: 500m (2 laps), Bike: 12,5km (5 laps) and Run: 3,6km (3 laps).
The Elite delighted the crowds but the spectators in Tizzy are not just your normal spectators. These folk know all about triathlon and over the many years this race has been running they have seen stars come and go. For them, this was a chance to see the new generation of world class athletes. They absolutely loved the Juniors.
It was the Junior Women who raced first.
With the warm ups finished and with the water a delightful 28.7C there was never any risk of wetsuits being needed. The Technical Officials were ready and the media all poised.
Under the watchful eye of the Race Referee, Dr Béla Varga (who was one of the Technical Delegates in Baku) the athletes leapt into the waters for this short but sharp swim.
Although there was a lot of space out there it was nevertheless a challenging swim with arms interlocking and the usual hustle and bustle on the turn buoys.
It was Dorka Putnóczki HUN, to the cheers of the home supporters, who led out of the water.
She was followed into T2 by Japan’s Fuka Sega who has really shone at this event. GB’s Sophie Alden was just a couple of paces behind and then some ten seconds off the pace Olivia Mathias.
Out on the bike and swim leader Putnóczki was soon working with Mathias but the pretty technical course soon allowed others to join them.
It was Mathias, Alden, Putnóczki, Sega and Austrian Therese Feuersinger who were making the pace.
Entering T2 and a lost shoe was safely picked up by one of the Technical Officials. No penalty there. It was an accident.
The chase pack came into T2 aware that the leaders were far ahead and that they would have to work incredibly hard to catch them. Among them were the faster runners. Denmark’s Alberte Kjær Pedersen has shown a clean pair of heels in the past and amongst that group was also Bronwen Owen GBR who had posted the fastest run in Geneva.
Kjær soon pulled away and got into her running mind set but behind her and fast-approaching was Owen.
Owen was to have the run of her life and overtake so many athletes.
The local crowds cheered on Putnóczki but she could not stop the powerful young Brit Owen from over taking her with a stunning 12:17 run.
But ahead of her and jubilant was Mathias whose swimming and biking still had the edge. So great Britain shared the top places on the podium and the home crowds had a great chance to shout their support for their own bronze medallist.
The men set off when the sun was at its highest. Transition was set, the officials were in place and the crowds were again to be treated to a masterclass in racing.
The crowds were once again treated to a Hungarian lead in the swim with Márk Dévay leading them to T1.
After a lightning quick T1 he was off.
He was to remain in a strong position throughout the cycle section, which saw a large leading group of some 16 athletes. Athletes were testing each other at the front but it was still a large group as they entered T2. Dévay had Emil Deleuran Hansen DEN just behind him and the crowds, sensing the chance for a Hungarian podium, were going wild. Israel’s Ran Sagiv was looking good out on the run and following his comfortable 5th in the semis he was well placed to make a move to the medals. However, it was the British YOG gold medallist, Ben Dijkstra who was there and they all knew he would be a big threat. His 2 golds and a bronze this year meant that he was the man to beat over the final run.
It was Dijkstra who finally had the pace and once again he was to take Gold. Silver went to Deleuran and bronze to Sagiv. To the great disappointment of the crowds, Dévay just missed the podium but the Hungarian Federation will be pleased with the overall performance of their athletes.
After the race, Sagiv was delighted with his result, "3rd place finish at the Tiszaujvaros junior european cup, special thanks to all of my supporters and the israeli team for the awsome cheering! Well done Ben Dijkstra for the win! מקום 3 בתחרות סבב גביע אירופה בTiszaujvaros הונגריה!! תחרות מצויינת מבחיניתי ואני שמח שהצלחתי למצוא את הכוחות, במטרים האחרונים כדי להשיג את המדליה והרבה בזכות העידוד של החברים מהנבחרת. תודה ענקית למשפחה ולמאמנים שלי Uri Zilberman Omer Rotem ולכל מי שעוזר תמיד- הקבוצה שלי #TheButtons וGuy Kaftori בוטקיה ישראל Raanan Alexander #SUUNTO"
ETU President, Renato Bertrandi was present for this festival of triathlon, "The format of racing we have seen this weekend in Tiszaújváros is an ideal way to showcase our sport and is exactly what we hope to do with the Youth Festival. Short fast races as qualifiers with a pathway to the semi-final and then final gives the athletes, coaches and spectators a fantastic opportunity to really get inside triathlon. It also allows technical officials to experience a variety of situations within a racing weekend. A massive opportunity for development for all. Tiszaújváros has got the formula right and I know from the athletes that this is one of the best ways to celebrate triathlon. Congratulations to the Organising Committee. Great job, done well."
|2.||Emil Deleuran Hansen||DEN||00:37:41|
|5.||Alberte Kjær Pedersen||DEN||00:43:10|
Find more details about this event - 2015 Tiszaujvaros ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup