WTCS Yokohama: Kristian Blummenfelt strikes gold in Japan

So Vincent Luis is human, after all?! Sixth today for the two-time and defending World Triathlon Champion today at WTCS Yokohama, where for the first time since September 2019 he had the rare sight of athletes running away from him.

Much like Lionel Sanders, his running mechanics hardly represent textbook fluidity, but you would struggle to find anyone who seemingly has the ability to inflict pain on themselves as much as Big Blu.

Morgan Pearson, who passed him for the final spot on the podium in the final stages, has a recent 1:02 half marathon on his C.V., while Blummenfelt could walk the final few metres and still clock the fastest time of the day.

“It felt good to be racing again, there were some nerves on the start line up against those guys, but it was a great result here in Yokohama,” said a delighted Blummenfelt.

After lap one there was only 6 seconds separating the top 20, but even further down the field there were no major gaps opening up.

Shachar Sagiv  was driving things on from the front as the last lap saw the pack shuffle and try to work their way into a good position heading into the final transition.

Vilaca and Iden had poked through to lead the masses into the second transition.

It was Geens looking most comfortable and happy to find himself out front so early in the run, the same could be said for Yee who was on his shoulder, the pair arguably the fastest runners in the field.

Schomburg faded first and found himself between the front three as Pearson stepped into the striking zone with that Olympic berth in his sights, McDowell on his shoulder.

Yee was next to drop off with 3km to go, while Blummenfelt took his turn out front and put his foot down to try and break Geens.

With 1km to go, Blummenfelt finally found some space between himself and Geens, Pearson likewise in third, and the Norwegian was absolutely flying over the closing stages.

A resurgent Henri Schoeman finished in fifth, Luis sixth 40 seconds off Blummenfelt, followed by Van Riel, Bergere, Iden and Schomburg rounding out the top ten.

I’m super happy with second but also a bit disappointed as I felt I did all the work and Kristian was struggling early in the run, but now I know that wasn’t the case and just what Kristian can do.

“It was a breakaway pack at the start and I was in the middle and feeling nice, trying to stay relaxed, but with three laps to go the packs came together and I was pushed further back than I’d like to be,” admitted Pearson.

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