Triathlon super stars battle for podium spots at Canary Wharf
- Credit: Super League Triathlon
The world’s top athletes were put through their paces at the Super League Triathlon in Canary Wharf as it came to the UK for the first time.
Thousands of spectators turned up in the heat to watch the competitors battle in the 300m swimming, 4km cycling and 1.6km running races in the Millwall Docks.
It was Super League’s first outdoor event for two years following Covid lockdowns, with Jess Learmonth heading an all-British women’s podium after returning from the Tokyo Olympics.
New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde was the other outright star in the men’s event.
The women’s and men's events kicked off a frenetic four hours of full-throttle racing in front of bumper crowds at West India Quay.
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After being part of a team to win Olympic gold this summer, Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown continued their success to produce a “clean sweep” of British athletes on the podium alongside Vicky Holland.
Learmonth created an insurmountable advantage heading into the final run, holding off Taylor-Brown to get her second Super League title.
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“I started to regret coming at the end of stage two,” 33-year-old Learmonth said. “It was boiling hot and horrendous, especially running on cobbles.
“I think I took too many risks, but loosened up on the final swim and gave my legs a rest.”
The weekend event was the start of Super League’s new team format with multi-national squads of Sharks, Rhinos, Cheetahs, Scorpions, and Eagles adding to the excitement to the women’s and men’s events.
The men’s triathlon, following hot on the heels of the women’s event, came down to a showdown between New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde, Britain’s Jonny Brownlee and Frenchman Vincent Luis.
But victory went to the 22-year-old New Zealander who had been trailing until the final lap to storm into the lead and secure gold. Luis came second and Yorkshireman Brownlee third.
“I had to get as close to them as I could before giving it a big surge for the final 500m,” Wilde recalled.
“I knew Brownlee was the man to beat as half of Leeds seemed to be here as well, so it’s awesome to beat him as he’s a legend.”
Super League, which goes to Munich on September 12-13, is the world's top swim-bike-run series, pitching the best athletes in quick race formats to redefine the sport for a modern audience.