Would it be fair to say that your running is stronger that your maths? Interviewer to Jacob Birtwhistle
A slight miscalculation
By Roger Childs
Triathlon is a serious business and is one of the tougher sports as it combined three disciplines: swimming, cycling and running.
It is also has its risks, as you can be bashed or kicked in the melee around the buoys on the swim. And there is always the possibility of crashing on the bike, especially if the roads are slippery.
However in Edmonton last weekend promising Australian triathlete, Jacob Birtwhistle, added a bit of humour.
The big sprint
On the second lap of the 5km run, Birtwhistle was in a group coming down the hill behind the leaders.
Ahead of him were four of the fastest men on the circuit:
~ Jonathan, the younger of the famous Brownlee brothers
~ Spanish triathlon legend: Javier Gomez
~ the well-performed South African Richard Murray
~ winner of the last three ITU events Mario Mola.
Half way down the hill, Birtwhistle launched into a sprint and roared past the four leaders who looked bemused as the flying Australian shot by.
By the time he reached the finishing straight blue carpet he had a 50m gap on Mola.
Then he heard the bell to indicate one lap to go!
So he leapt over the barrier back onto the course and soldiered on.
Birtwhistle had sprinted too soon and was faced with a steady climb on the first half of the final lap. It seemed inevitable that the strong field would catch him and spit him out the back.
Mola came by half way up the hill, but where were the rest? Birtwhistle was still second at the top turn but Murray gained ground on the run down. However, the Australian wasn’t done and produced another sprint to finish well clear of the South African.
So Spaniard, Mario Mola, topped the podium for the fourth successive time, emulating the feat of Flora Duffy earlier in the day. (See story on July 31)
However, it was a very gutsy effort by Jason Birtwhistle and gave him his second successive “silver medal”.
Not only that, he had given the media a great story, and added some humour to the triathlon mix.