Britain battle back as France defend title

Published:

Following a tough start to the 2019 Mixed Relay World Championships, Great Britain battled back to claim a top 10 spot in Hamburg.

The British team, which consisted of Jess Learmonth, Jonny Brownlee, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee, took to the water and streets of Hamburg where they faced stiff competition from a star studded international field.

Silver medallist from the women’s race Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) was joined by compatriot and fellow silver medallist Vincent Luis in a strong French team; with World Series leader Katie Zaferes and Taylor Spivey teaming up for the USA. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS – gold) and Jelle Geens (BEL - bronze) also took part, meaning the full men’s podium was involved in the mixed relay.

The Brits were left behind as Learmonth found herself squeezed against the wall of the tunnel on the swim. Usually a dominant swimmer, this placed her 15th as she entered T1 to go out on the bike.

Finishing the race in tenth place, the Great Britain team showed their grit to fight back from their tough start. Away from the top group, the team found themselves on their own for most of the race as they fought to make up the gap that had been established by the leaders.

Alex Yee, who briefly raced with the leaders on the run albeit a lap behind, brought the team home to complete a determined performance, having suffered the set back at the very beginning of the race.

Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon Performance Director, said: The athletes are obviously disappointed after today’s race. The team was up against it from the outset really after Jess was squeezed against the wall in the swim on leg one. It was a gutsy performance from the athletes who had to race a lot of their legs alone. 

“We’re trialling different combinations in the relay to see which works the best ahead of 2020 and there’s a lot we can take away from the race today. We will re-group and improve as a team ahead of the Test Event and Grand Final.

“It was a mixed weekend for the team, but I want to congratulate Non for her impressive win in the Elite race. It was a dominant performance and we're all pleased to see her back on the top of the podium.” 

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