Total chaos at women’s Duathlon World Games, Maurine Ricour claims gold

(Photo: World Triathlon)

It wasn’t the attention that you want for your sport at the World Games, a big showcase of non-Olympic sports like triathlon. Today’s Duathlon World Games in Birmingham, America, weren’t such a success. The race favorites were overtaken by a chase group that cut the course, while other athletes ended up cycling more than they had to. It resulted in eleven DSQ’s and only eight finishers. In the end, it was Belgium’s Maurine Ricour who celebrated her victory (2:01:38 hours), followed by Japan’s Ai Ueda who took second (+0:20) and Joselyn Brea Abreu who took third (+1:04).

After the first run, six athletes ended up forming a lead pack on the bike. That’s when it got difficult, though, because athletes struggled to see how far out they had to bike before they could make a turn. While the lead pack followed the motorbikes and therefor the right course, the next groups either cut the course or rode a longer version of it. By the time the five leading ladies – one had dropped back due to a flat tire – reached T2, some athletes that shouldn’t be ahead of them were racing in front.

The jury wasn’t sure what to do with the situation and tried to even things out by compensating the time that the lead group had lost. However, given the fact that eleven athletes had to be disqualified for riding the wrong course, the results didn’t end up reflecting which athletes were actually strongest.