First ever Winter Triathlon world title for Italian Mairhofer
Italian Sandra Mairhofer arrived in Andorra wondering if the great performance she did in the World Triathlon Winter Cup Asiago three weeks ago would be enough to grant her a spot on the podium at the World Championships… and she delivered. The young Italian ended with seven years of Russian dominance to claim he first ever Winter Triathlon world title, accompanied on the podium by Romana Slavinec (AUT) and Anna Medvedeva, representing the Russian Triathlon Federation.
Sandra started full gas in the run, finishing the 6,55km over the snowy circuit in Andorra with almost half a minute over the closest competitors: Maria Luisa Razina (ROU), Svetlana Sokolova (RTF) and Anna Medvedeva. Reigning World Champion, Daria Rogozina (RTF), lost almost three minutes in the run, which put her in a complicated situation for the bike course.
And in the technical bike course on the slopes of Naturlandia the athletes grouped in a large pack, with all the big names riding close to each other. By the end of the demanding course, Norwegian rising star Elisabeth Sveum, Aneta Grabmullerova (CZE), Yulia Surikova (RTF) and Daria Rogozina had made it as well to the front, along with Mairhofer and Slavinec.
The Italian kept some strength for the end of the race, and with a great ski performance she left all the other triathletes behind despite having to serve a 15 seconds penalty for leaving equipment outside the box, to claim the world title all smiles. “I am so extremely happy”, she recognized after finishing the race. “I performed really well in Asiago but most of the stronger rivals where not there, so I wasn’t sure of how I would perform today. I did execute the race as I had planned, so this first world title feels just great”, she said.
Behind her in the finish line was Romana Slavinec, who repeated the second place in the World Championships she got last year in Asiago. Third crossing the finish was Elizabeth Sveum (NOR) after an astonishing ski leg, but she was disqualified for not stopping at the penalty box for serving a penalty, which left Anna Medvedeva to claim the third and last spot on the podium.
She was followed by another neutral athlete from the Russian Triathlon Federation, Daria Rogozina, with Aneta Grabmullerova (CZE) and Carina Wasle (AUT) following in 5th and 6th place.
In the U23 women’s race, the athletes from the Russian Triathlon Federation proved to be unbeatable, with Nadezhda Belkina, Olga Chereminisova and Valeria Kuznetsova finishing in the first three places.
And in the women’s Junior race, the Norwegians again showed they have the strongest junior team, with Julie Meinicke (NOR) dominating the race from start to finish, followed on the finish by Theresa Furstenberg (NOR) and Anastasiia Nepomilueva (RUS) closing the podium.