Schilling, Illes, earn World titles in the opening event of the 2018 Multisport World Championships
06 July 2018
Opening the Multisport World Championships Festival, in perfect Summer conditions, the 2018 ITU Duathlon World Championships crowned the first set of world titles in Odense, Denmark.
After placing fifth in the 2017 Penticton ITU Duathlon World Championship, Illes was elated to be on top of the podium to take home the 2018 World Champion title. Joining Illes on the women’s podium was Japan’s Ai Ueda and Britain’s Georgina Schwiening.
The men’s field was stacked with duathlon expertise, setting the expectations that it was going to be a ferocious race from start to finish.
The race format commenced with a 10km run, followed by a 36km bike and finished with a 4.9km run.
Danish triathlete Schilling lay it down from the starting line, producing a fierce race combination.
The first run didn’t mix things up a great deal however onto the bike it was Schilling, Buckingham, Le Berre and Britain’s Adam Bowden who broke away and proved to the field that it was going to come down to a firing final run of the day.
The four men worked hard together out on the six-lap bike course and motored into transition in a hustle.
It was the young gun Dane who showed off his strong bike form keeping the other men in tow.
Schilling, who could already taste the sweet victory on Danish soil, fired off from the start producing a final 13-minute-19seconds race split to run through the finish tape and be named the 2018 Duathlon World Champion.
Claiming this title in front of a home crowd was an honourable moment for Schilling who acknowledged that he was incredibly motivated leading into today’s race.
“It’s so amazing to win on home-soil. To be able to do it and get the gold medal, is just completely amazing. I’m so happy. All along the course there was a new person I knew, cheering for me, so I just got a major boost every time,” said Schilling.
A disappointed Le Berre took out the silver medal and admitted that he was second best today behind a ferocious Schilling.
Buckingham capped the men’s podium and was awarded the bronze medal.
The women’s field saw a mix of strong experience line up to race the duathlon alongside the U23 start list.
Japan’s Ueda produced a stellar first run split and was the first female to move through transition before heading out onto the bike course.
It was no surprise that Ueda was rapidly joined by 2017 Duathlon World Champion Felicity Sheedy Ryan from Australia, Britiain’s Schwiening and Austria’s Illes. The four women set the pace and broke away early, maintaining a strong 15-second lead on the women chasing.
With a slick second transition Schwiening was the first athlete to hit the pavement for the final stretch of the duathlon format. It was soon revealed that the battle for the title was up for grabs and the fight broke out.
Illes and Ueda made a move on the field and were on the charge but it was Illes who had the stronger legs today, crossing the finish line to be crowed as the 2018 Duathlon World Champion.
“Today it’s really awesome for me. I wanted to try to get first place. Anything can happen. Last year was a little bit disappointing for me because of my fifth place. Now I’m so happy!” exclaimed Illes.
It was Ueda who produced an impressive race to claim silver followed by Schwiening, who took out silver in the 2017 U23 duathlon world championships, who completed the women’s podium with a bronze medal.
In the women’s race it was Lucie Picard from France who was awarded the U23 World Champion title. Sophie Van Der Most from the Netherlands produced a silver medal performance and Hikari Tamura capped the podium to snare the bronze medal.
A very deserving Matthew Willis, from Great Britain, crossed the finish line to claim the Junior Duathlon World title, while silver went to Denmark’s own Thor Bendix Madsen and bronze to Joey Van ‘T’ Verlaat from the Netherlands.
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2018 Fyn ITU Duathlon World Championships