Richard Varga of Slovakia And Irina Abysova of Russia win 2013 ITU Aquathlon World Championships in London

ITU Aquathlon Champs 2013 Varga

Richard Varga picked up the men’s title once again (Photo: Janos Schmidt | ITU)

Action at the PruHealth 2013 World Triathlon Grand Final in London got underway on Wednesday when Slovakia’s Richard Varga defended his elite men’s Aquathlon title and Russia’s Irina Abysova collected her first World Championship in the women’s race.

Olympic Heptathlon Champion and PruHealth Vitality Ambassador Jessica Ennis-Hill was also on site today to unveil a giant floating sculpture on London’s Serpentine to launch the Grand Final. Ennis-Hill called on British sports fans to recreate the spirit of London 2012 by turning out in force to support Britain’s best triathletes as they compete at the event in Hyde Park. Click here for a full release on Ennis-Hill’s appearance.

Elite Women’s Review

In a close women’s race, Abysova exited the water down on New Zealand’s Rebecca Clarke and Croatia’s Daria Pletikapa but collected them in the second lap of the 5km run to win in a time of 31:46.

“It was a hard race, I’m so happy. I had a not so good swim as I didn’t have a warm-up, but after that I had a fast run,” Abysova said.

Belgium’s Claire Michel claimed silver, her first major ITU podium, and the former track athlete for the University of Oregon said she was happy her plan had paid off.

“The biggest goal was just to have a good swim, to stay with the pack and practise sigthings and stay straight, and then have a good transition and pick off as many as I could on the run. It wasn’t quite enough to catch the first place girl, but it was a good race effort,” Michel said.

Ukraine’s Yuyila Yelistratova finished strongly to claim bronze, the second elite medal of the day for Ukraine and said she was happy to create some good memories in London after crashing out of the London 2012 Olympic race last year.
Click here for the full review

2013 ITU Aquathlon World Championships – 11 September

Final Results – Elite Women – 1km swim, 5km run

1.    Irina Abysova     RUS        00:31:46
2.    Claire Michel     BEL        00:31:53
3.    Yuliya Yelistratova     UKR        00:32:08
4.    Rebecca Clarke     NZL        00:32:14
5.    Daria Pletikapa     CRO        00:32:22
6.    Anna Burova     RUS        00:32:36
7.    Elizabeth Lee     IRL        00:33:13
8.    Maria Barrett     GBR        00:33:43
9.    India Lee     GBR        00:33:44
10.    Flavia Fernandes     BRA        00:35:00

Men’s Review

In the quick swim-run discipline, Varga exited the Serpentine in an 11:16 swim and while he lost some time in the first transition, he held on to lead from start to finish and win in a time of 28 minutes and 40 seconds, 13 seconds ahead of a fast-finishing Ivan Ivanov of Ukraine. Ivanov clocked the day’s fastest run, and the only sub-16 minute time, to run himself into silver. Hungary’s Csaba Rendes collected the bronze.

It was Varga’s third elite Aquathlon world title, after also winning in 2010 and 2012, and he said his first feeling was one of relief after spending the weeks since Stockholm on the sidelines with sickness.

“I think today was pretty dramatic, because I didn’t know if I could race on Sunday, last week I was really sick,” Varga said. “So this was my first hard training before the world championships after Stockholm, so I am pretty pleased. And also as I had a 15 second penalty, I’m pretty happy that I could win today. It’s good hard training and to be World Champion for the third time is pretty great.”

2013 ITU Aquathlon World Championships – 11 September

Final Results – Elite Men – 1km swim, 5km run

1.    Richard Varga     SVK        00:28:40
2.    Ivan Ivanov     UKR        00:28:53
3.    Csaba Rendes     HUN        00:29:03
4.    Richard Stannard     GBR        00:29:11
5.    Ryosuke Yamamoto     JPN        00:29:19
6.    Tomas Svoboda     CZE        00:29:36
7.    Ognjen Stojanovic     SRB        00:30:18
8.    Wesley Matos     BRA        00:30:18
9.    Neil Eddy     GBR        00:30:35
10.    Matija Krivec     CRO        00:30:5