Continuing in her formidable form Bermudan triathlete Flora Duffy has collected the first WTS win in the official Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying period, and her second straight WTS victory of the 2018 WTS season.
First out of the swim, she remained in the lead bike pack and then stole the race away in her run, which ultimately landed her at the top of the Series leaderboard in the WTS rankings.
USA’s Katie Zaferes claimed silver medal and her second-straight WTS podium of the season. Then finishing off with the bronze was Non Stanford (GBR) whose third place landed her on her first WTS podium since 2016.
Starting with one of her best swims, Stanford was helped by Jodie Stimpson to bridge the gap to the leaders, Duffy and Katie Zaferes (USA) on the bike. Duffy took off at the start of the run, followed by Zaferes and Stimpson. Stanford ran through nicely to claim the bronze whilst Stimpson finished 12th.
Stanford said: “In all honestly I spent last night Googling job applications and I was reading this morning what I have to do for this particular job, I just didn’t expect that today. It has been a really tough two years, I have gone through a lot of up and downs. This sport can be super cruel and super tough, but it has just taught me that if you stay patient and just keep plugging away you can get back up there really.”
British Triathlon Performance Director, Brendan Purcell commented on Stanford’s performance: “There’s a bit more there but it’s really exciting. That was a quality field, the only women who were missing really were the other Brits.”
With this his final World Series event in charge before he moves to British Rowing, he added: “It’s been great to see Non get back on the podium, and the sport can feel positive that the next two years are going to be really exciting as we build up to Tokyo.”
WTS Yokohama: The men’s race
Spaniard Mario Mola delivered a three-peat victory at the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama. After putting up one of his best swims of his career, he survived a massive bike pack to break away after T2 in what would be a dominating run. Mola became the first man in WTS history to ever win in Yokohama for three consecutive years.
The Yokohama win also was his first WTS gold of the 2018 season, which meant that he will remain as the current frontrunner in the Series rankings.
The silver and bronze medal went to two men eager to get back on the WTS podium. Aussie Jacob Birtwhistle outsprinted Spaniard Fernando Alarza in the final moments to finish second, his first WTS podium since July 2017. The bronze for Alarza was also his first since June of 2017.
Grant Sheldon was Britain’s highest finisher in the men’s race in 18th place. Tom Bishop was 24th and Marc Austin 47th.