The only Brits on the start line, Beth Potter and Kate Waugh took the top-two places at World Triathlon Cup Haeundae 2021 on Saturday in the stunning coastal location in Busan, South Korea.
The sprint distance race started with a 750m sea swim, followed by a 20km bike leg made up of five laps and a four lap 5km run.
Coming out of the water and through T1, Potter was at the front alongside Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) with Waugh mere seconds behind in third on the first bike lap. By the second lap Waugh caught the top two and the trio rode together and continued to establish a sizeable gap on the rest of the field.
The chasing group of women featured a group of experienced of race specialists including Frenchwoman Sandra Dodet, Roksana Slupek (POL), Italy’s Bianca Seregni, Japan’s Niina Kishimoto, Charlotte McShane (AUS)and reigning Junior World Champion Beatrice Mallozzi of Italy.
The Brits took the majority of the time at the front as they fought to ensure the chasers were unable to close the gap. With two laps left on the bike to negotiate, the leading trio had established a 30-second gap on the chase group.
On the final 4km lap, the chasers were unable to bridge the gap as Potter, Bragmayer and Waugh entered transition together. Potter had an issue with her shoes catching the ground and coming off her bike when running her bike through T2 which lost her some time.
Bragmayer and Waugh were the first to enter the 5km foot race over four laps as they set out side-by-side, with renowned runner Potter close behind.
Waugh, who made her World Triathlon Championship Series debut in Hamburg in September, looked the stronger of the pair and held the lead across the first lap and a half of the beachside run as her compatriot Potter chased them down.
On the second lap, Potter passed the Hungarian athlete and moved passed Waugh to take the lead.
Starting the third of four laps, Potter pushed to run clear and continued to pull away to cross the line 15 seconds ahead of Waugh in second as the British pair secured a dominant one-two at the inaugural World Triathlon Cup Haeundae. Bragmayer completed the podium in third.
Speaking to World Triathlon after the race, Potter said: ““It wasn’t quite perfect out there. I lost my shoe in transition so I had a bit of work to do on the run but I was able to get back and I am happy with the performance. I am off to [World Triathlon Cup] Tongyeong to race next week and really looking forward to it.”
Waugh commented: ““I am really pleased with my overall performance today. I love a beach start and I love diving through big waves so I was really excited because the swell was pretty big before we started. I had a really good swim and we managed to get a breakaway on the bike.
“The girls worked really well on the bike, we all knew were in podium position which really helped to push us on. I set off on the run, I nailed my transition for like the first time this year, so I was really pleased and just held on for second. I knew Beth would be coming in hot so I just tried to stick with her.”
In the men’s race, France’s Anthony Pujardes took the gold ahead of Hojo (JPN) and Azzano (ITA).
Potter and Waugh will once again be the sole Brits on a South Korean start line as they head to 2021 World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong this weekend.
The port city of Tongyeong will host the sprint distance race that will see athletes compete over a 750m swim, three-lap 20km bike and two-lap 5km run. The swim and run are based in and around the harbour, with the out and back bike route taking athletes along a hilly course.
The action will unfold on TriathlonLIVE, with the coverage scheduled for 01:00am Saturday 30 October.