It came down to a run between three men for three spots on the podium, and in the end it was Hungary’s Csongor Lehmann who had the best legs over the final few kilometers of the run as he ran away from Germany’s Tim Hellwig and Australia’s Matthew Hauser to take the men’s U23 world title, adding that to the junior world title he won in 2018.
Chile’s Diego Moya led the way out of the water just ahead of France’s Valentin Morlec and Brazil’s Miguel Hidalgo, but those three had lots of company into T1, with a big group of 11 forming early in the bike that included Hellwig, Hauser, Lehmann, Leon Pauger (AUT) and Simon Westermann (SUI). Behind that group were a chase pack of five with a third, larger chase group forming behind them.
The lead group worked well together and were able to hold the chasers off – by the end of the bike the gaps were about a minute to the first group and 3:30 to the next, which pretty much meant the medals would be decided by the lead bunch.
Hauser worked really hard through the first half of the run and was able to open a gap on Hidalgo, Hellwig, Moya and Lehmann, but was never more than about 20 m clear, which left the Aussie very much in the “hunted” rather than “pulling away” role as the race hit the halfway point. At that point Lehmann and Hellwig joined the Australian at the front and the three pulled clear of the rest of the field to decide the medals.
In the end it was Lehmann who would pull ahead of the other two, moving one step up on the podium from his 2019 performance with the win in 1:46:47. Hellwig would cross the line four seconds later (1:46:51) with Hauser another four seconds back (1:46:55). Swim leader Moya would tak fourth (1:48:08) with Simon Westerman (SUI) rounding out the top five (1:48:37).
You can find results from the race here.