Cecilia Ramirez blew away the women’s field on the run and Csongor Lehmann followed in his father’s footsteps to win the ITU Junior World Championship gold on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Ramirez overcame a 40 seconds deficit after the swim, then cut that to 31 seconds while finishing the bike leg in 36th place. Ramirez then jetted away with a by-far race-best 17:15 run split to finish in 59:11 with a 12 seconds margin of victory over Erin Wallace of Britain and 23 seconds over 3rd place finisher Kate Waugh of Britain.
“I am so happy I have been able to achieve this on my coach and my brother’s birthday and I am really glad that I was able to win for them,” Ramirez told ITU media. “It is a triple celebration! On the run I thought that it was possible because I had so much support from my coach and friends telling me that I could do it. I have been working very hard on my run and it has become my best leg.”
Waugh trailed by 20 seconds on the swim, then biked into the lead with Jessica Fullagar of France at T2. Once on the run, Erin Wallace passed Waugh, last year’s silver medalist, while Ramirez went on the hunt and chopped her deficit to 15 seconds on the first of two 2.5 kilometer run laps.
After her dominating 17:15 run, Ramirez was ecstatic at the finish. “I am completely amazed at this result and really pleased that I could win,” Ramirez told ITU media. “On the run I thought that it was possible because I had so much support from my coach and friends telling me that I could do it. I have been working very hard on my run over the years and it has become my best leg.”.
Wallace was not crestfallen with her runner-up finish. “I definitely can’t be disappointed because my result is so much more than I expected this year,” she told ITU media. “I knew I was in good form coming into this race but it was nerve wracking to be on the start line so I kept my trust in what I have done to prepare and it paid off.”
Waugh was gracious with her bronze medal. “I obviously came out to win today and go one better than my second place last year but I didn’t have it at the end,” she told ITU media. “The girls were just too strong today. I didn’t see [Ramirez] coming she was a long way back but she was so, so powerful when she came past me that I couldn’t stay with her. Well done to her.”
Lehmann lost his cap and goggles early in the swim, but managed to exit the water in 8:55, in 5th place and 5 seconds behind the leader.
Lehmann quickly joined the front pack led by New Zealander Dylan McCullough, Paul Georgenthum of France and Fielding Fischer of the U.S.
Late in the ride, McCullough surged into a breakaway and led by 15 seconds into T2. Starting the run, McCullough seemed to have spent his energy and Lehmann took off and dropped the field. Initially only Georgenthum offered resistance, but on his way to a race-best 15:27 run – 23 seconds quicker than Georgenthum’s next-best effort - gave the Hungarian the win.
“It is unbelievable,” Lehmann told ITU media. “In my wildest dreams I did not expect that I could win this race… it just happened. I made my way to the front in the swim and on the bike I hoped we would work together but it was not the best. But on the run I felt really awesome so I was able to drop the other guys. I was thinking my legs would be tired after [but] they were really great.”
Lehmann’s father and coach Tibor was an ITU National Champion in the ‘90s, and today watched his son crowned World Champion.
ITU Junior World Championship
Gold Coast, Australia
September 15, 2018
S 750m / B 20km / R 5km
1. Cecilia Ramirez (MEX) 59:11 S 10:21 T1 00:43 B 30:29 T2 00:25 R 17:15
2. Erin Wallace (GBR) 59:23 S 10:04 T1 00:44 B 30:18 T2 --:23 R 17:57
3. Kate Waugh (GBR) 59:34 S 10:08 T1 00:42 B 30:12 T2 00:22 R 18:12
4. Pauline Landron (FRA) 59:46 S 10:25 T1 00:41 B 30:15 T2 00:22 R 18:05
5. Romy Wolstencroft (AUS) 59:51 S 10:36 T1 00:47 B 30:01 T2 00:23 R 18:05
17. Paige Horner (USA) 1:00:41 S 10:27 T1 00:46 B 30:17 T2 00:25 R 18:47
24. Audrey Ernst (USA) 1:01:26 S 10:42 T1 00:41 B 29:59 T2 00:27 R 19:38
29. Gillian Cridge (USA) 1:01:54 S 10:28 T1 00:47 B 30:14 T2 00:37 R 19:50
1. Csongor Lehmann (HUN) 52:49 S 8:5 T1 00:38 B 27:29 T2 00:23 R 15:27
2. Paul Georgenthum (FRA) 53:12 S 8:51 T1 00:37 B 27:35 T2 00:22 R 15:50
3. Philipp Wiewald (GER) 53:14 S 9:44 T1 00:38 B 26:40 T2 00:21 R 15:53
4. Boris Pierre (FRA) 53:20 S 9:21 T1 00:38 B 27:01 T2 00:22 R 15:59
5. Lorcan Redmond (AUS) 53:22 S 9:38 T1 00:37 B 26:46 T2 00:21 R 16:01
14. Fielding Fischer (USA) 54:11 S 8:52 T1 00:39 B 27:40 T2 00:23 R 16:38
49. Luis Ortiz (USA) 57:57 S 9:19 T1 00:36 B 30:13 T2 00:28 R 17:22