Kristian Hogenhaug of Denmark prevailed after a race-long duel with Jesper Svensson of Sweden to take the World Triathlon Long Distance Championship held in Almere-Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Taking advantage of perfect racing conditions, Hogenhaug finished in 7:37:46 with a 1:39 margin over fellow Scandinavian Svensson after running shoulder to shoulder for 35 kilometers. Hogenhaug held a 7:29 margin over 3rd place Reinaldo Colucci of Brazil.
On a clear and calm morning and water at 20 degrees Celsius, a field of 30 elite men led by Svensson and followed closely by Antony Costes of France, 2019 Long Distance Silver medalist Pablo Dapena Gonzalez of Spain and Alexandre Berggren of Sweden. Race favorite Andrew Starykowicz of the U.S. had a bad swim and finished 5 minutes behind the leaders.
Buoyed by a tailwind, Svensson was followed closely by Hogenhaug, and halfway through the 180 km bike course the two men opened up a 4-minute leads on a first group of chaser s including Costes, Milan Brons of the Netherlands, Colucci and Evert Scheltinga. Hit during the swim and crashing a few times in the first few kilometers of the course, Starykowicz pulled out of the race with a concussion.
After the 180 km course, Hogenhaug and Svensson built a 7 minutes lead by T2 and ran together for most of the 42km run course. At the 35 km mark of the run, Hogenhaug made a decisive move at the end of the fifth lap that gave him a minute lead by the 38km mark.
Topping off the run of his life, Hogenhaug topped off his day with a 2:41:38 marathon to finish in 7:37:46 with a 1:39 margin over Svensson (2:43:20 run) and 7:29 over 3rd place Colucci (2:39:03 marathon).
“This was my 4th long distance race in four months,” Hogenhaug told World Triathlon media. “I didn’t feel good but I think I had a decent swim. I like to go to the front of the race to take control, so as soon as I could I did it. But I think I hammered, maybe a bit too much on the bike so then I slowed down a bit. Then the battle on the run was something I will never forget. I never had pushed it that far.”
1:39 later, Svensson crossed the finish line to claim not only the World Championships silver medal but also his national long distance record. “I am really happy,” he told World Triathlon media. “It was such a great race today. I lost against an incredible man, congratulations. I went out too fast the previous time I did one, so today I wanted to take it easy. We had a nice chat while running together (with Hogenhaug), I could have never imagined that we would go so fast.”
Colucci, also was the fastest Brazilian ever over the 3.8 km swim, 180km bike and 42km run. “I am extremely happy with my day”, he said. ”It was a really fast course. I tried to qualify to Tokyo in the last races but unfortunately couldn’t make it so I decided to focus on long distance races, and it paid off.”
Fourth place was for the local hero, Evert Scheltinga, who at 34 years of age got his best ever result over the long distance, and also smashed the national record. Austrian Thomas Steger finished in 5th place, and Dapena in 6th, both of them with excellent run splits. But the fastest run split of the day was for another Spaniard, Victor Arroyo Bugallo, who climbed from 18th to 8th overall with a 2:38:48 run split. The first eight men at the line finished in under 8 hours.
World Triathlon Long Distance Championships
September 12, 2021
S 3.8k / B 180k / R 42k
1. Kristian Hogenhaug (DEN) S 49:44 T1 1:22 B 4:03:15 T2 1:49 R 2:41:38 TOT 7:37:46
2. Jesper Svensson (SWE) S 47:08 T1 1:31 B 4:05:40 T2 1:48 R 2:43:20 TOT 7:39:25
3. Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) S 49:40 T1 1:55 B 4:12:47 T2 1:52 R 2:39:03 TOT 7:45:15
4. Evert Scheltinga (NED) S 49:37 T1 1:46 B 4:12:50 T2 1:43 R 2:43:39 TOT 7:49:32
5. Thomas Steger (AUT) S 49:47 T1 2:00 B 4:19:48 T2 2:15 R 2:41:08 TOT 7:54:56
6. Pablo Dapena Gonzalez (ESP) S 47:13 T`1 1:31 B 4:22:53 T2 2:16 R 2:42:03 TOT 7:55:54
7. Tomas Renc (CZE) S 549:43 T1 1:41 B 4:20:57 T2 1:50 R 2:41:57 TOT 7:56:06
8. Victor Arroyo Bugallo (ESP) S 56:51 T1 1:53 B 4:20:16 T2 2:31 R 2:38:48 TOT 8:00:17
9. Milan Brons (NED) S 49:41 T1 2:05 B 4:14:24 T2 2:17 R 2:52:24 TOT 8:00:49
10. Joao Francisco Ferreira (POR) S 49:46 T1 1:26 B 4:21:10 T2 2:08 R 2:49:08 TOT 8:03:36