The Italy triathlon team of Daniela Chmet, Beatrice Lanza and Nadia Cortassa has just won the women’s ITU Team Triathlon World Championships in a time of 1:05:11. Italy was able to open a large enough gap over second place United States and third place Spain over the first two legs enabling Italian anchor Cortassa to bring home the gold medal for her country. Italy’s time managed to best the United States by 52 seconds and Spain by a further minute and 11 seconds.
“It is very important for Italy, “stated Italy’s second Lanza on the world championship win. “The short course is a very exciting race. We are a very close team so it is very good for our friendship.”
Italy was never far off the lead for the entire “super-sprint” relay style race. The championships consisted of three legs, with each athlete completing a 250 metre swim, 6.6 kilometre bike and 1,600 metre run in succession before handing off to their teammate.
Daniela Chmet led the charge for Italy crashing through the opening 250 metre swim and heading onto the 2-lap, flat and fast bike course with America’s Sarah Groff and World Junior Champion Kirsten Sweetland of Canada hot on her heels. However, it was the Canadian Sweetland that built an early lead out on the one mile run course before handing off to her teammate Lauren Groves to start the second leg of the race.
World Ranked number five Groves quickly put more time between herself and her two competitors during her leg but her effort was in vain as an absence of a third teammate meant that Canada would have to withdrawal from the race.
It was during this second leg that Italy’s Lanza made the decisive move, pulling away from American Mary Beth Ellis, setting up her Italian teammate Cortassa to cruise home to victory and the lion’s share of the US$50,000 prize purse.
“I have to thank Daniela and Beatrice because they made the race very easy for me,” said Italian anchor Cortassa. “They worked very hard before me and I just have to not get caught.”
Michelle Lindsay anchored the American team and managed to hang onto second place for the United States to claim the silver medal.
“It was tons of fun, “exclaimed American anchor Michelle Lindsay. “Hopefully this is the first of many times this team gets to race together.”
Despite a slow start, Spain was able to come together during the later stages of the race to take third spot.