Fernandes finally does it

Hamburg, Germany, September 1: Portuguese phenom Vanessa Fernandes won the 2007 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships and thus earned the first world title in triathlon for Portugal. Three time World Champion Emma Snowsill earned the silver while American Laura Bennett took the bronze.

A wetsuit legal swim kept the field much tighter together and would not allow some of the stronger swimmers to gain any significant advantage. Local favorite Joelle Franzmann of Germany was first out of the water, followed by a host of contenders including Fernandes, Australian Emma Moffatt and Americans, Laura Bennett, Sarah Haskins and Sara McLarty. Pre race favorite Snowsill emerged from the water 3 seconds behind.

In T1 Snowsill and Fernandes struggled with their wetsuits, but Fernandes managed to get out with the lead group. Snowsill on the other hand began the flat and narrow 40km bike course with a 10-second deficit. Fernandes and Moffatt drove the first group and their lead kept growing over the second group that contained Snowsill. By the time they hit T2, the lead was an enormous 77 seconds.

Fernandes headed out onto the run in 11th place, but it didn’t take her very long to pass all the women ahead of her and take the lead. Encouraged by an estimated 250,000 screaming fans and with the second fastest run of the day she crossed the finish line more than a minute ahead of the closest competitor. Doubters had questioned if Fernandes could beat Emma Snowsill head to head in a big race, but Fernandes proved that she could deliver the goods when it counts. Snowsill though ended up with the fastest run of the day on her way to the silver medal.

Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships – Final Elite Women’s Results:

1. Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 01:53:27
2. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 01:54:31
3. Laura Bennett (USA) 01:54:37
4. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 01:54:54
5. Ricarda Lisk (GER) 01:54:59
6. Anja Dittmer (GER) 01:55:04
7. Magali Di marco Messmer (SUI) 01:55:09
8. Joelle Franzmann (GER) 01:55:15
9. Jessica Harrison (FRA) 01:55:26
10. Sarah Haskins (USA) 01:55:27