Italy dominates the 2×2 Mixed Relay Duathlon World Championships

Podium finishes for Italy, France and Belgium at the 2x2 Mixed Relay Duathlon World Championships (Picture: Triathlon Today)
At the 2x2 Mixed Relay Duathlon World Championships, Italy just turned out to be supreme. The format is still new - this was only the second time the event has been organized - but was a spectacle to watch. 

At the 2x2 Mixed Relay Duathlon World Championships, just under twenty national teams were participating, each team consisting of two athletes. First the men started for a 2 kilometer run, a 5 kilometer bike and another 1 kilometer run and then the women followed. Once the women returned, it was the men's turn again and in conclusion the women also had to race a second and last time. 

During the first heat - in which the pace was very high already - a leading group of nine athletes stayed together. At least until the second run, because then France and Italy went off together and took a thirteen second lead. It was a first step towards victory, as Italy would only race at the front from this point on. 

It was Giorgia Priarone who already managed to convert the preparatory work of her teammate Samuele Angelini into a solo lead in the second heat. Despite being chased, mainly by Belgium, France and the Netherlands, the Italian saw her lead stretch to 30 seconds, putting Angelini in a comfortable lead for the third heat. 

During the third and fourth heat, that lead was no longer in danger and Italy ran to a well-deserved world title. In the battle for silver and bronze, the Netherlands - which finished fourth - was the first to drop out. Only in the closing meters was the battle between France and Belgium decided, in favor of the French.