The whole world was watching the Ironman 70.3 World Championships today – or at least triathlon fans were – but Belgium hosted Europe Triathlon’s European Middle Distance Championships. Louis Naeyaert and Diede Diederiks won and thus crowned themselves European Champions Middle Distance.
The men’s race was dominated by Belgian athletes, who apparently got wings due to the home advantage. In the end the race was only really decided during the run, although there it was almost immediately Naeyaert who took the lead and did not relinquish it. In the end, he won in a time of 3:45:47. In doing so, he stayed ahead of compatriots Jonathan Wayaffe (3:46:23) and Dieter Comhair (3:47:37).
The women’s race was won by Diede Diederiks. The Dutch athlete is not known for her strong swim, so after the 1.9 kilometers in the water she was eighth and had a deficit of about three minutes. At the bike, however, her deficit was very quickly eliminated and turned into a lead. Even before halfway through the bike leg, she took over the lead in the race and it was never compromised again. Diederiks won the race in 4:11:05 and stayed ahead of, among others, Poland’s Marta Lagownik (4:14:24) and Germany’s Jenny Jendryschik (4:16:30).