A fascinating men’s triathlon unfolded at the Baku European Games with Great Britain’s Gordon Benson going on to claim victory in a time of 1:48:31. Joao Silva of Portugal posted the fastest run of day to claim silver after starting the final discipline from the chase pack. Local man, Rostyslav Pevtsov delighted the hometown supporters as he rounded out the podium positions.
Ireland’s Russell White got off to a good start in the swim as he exited the 1500 meters in 19:28 and well placed within the top 20 athletes. A problematic 50 second transition saw him loose some time but he had enough in hand to remain comfortably within the main pack.
The early swim leaders were looking to make their advantage pay but by the 20 kilometre mark they were all but reeled in. Team GB used their domestique, Phil Graves to make a second bike break stick and they did just that pulling out over a minute and a half by the time they entered T2.
20 year old Limerick native, Aaron O’Brien was finding the swim pace a real challenge as he exited the water in 20:16, just off the back of the main pack. That saw him resigned to doing much on the chasing in a small pack and ultimately leading to a DNF as the superior numbers up front could share the pace setting.
Once onto the run, White was moving well amongst the massive chasing pack however fell fowl of the technical officials for a transition infringement. That resulted in the Banbridge athlete having to serve a 15 second stop go penalty during the run.
The clock stopped at 1:54:41 as White crossed the line in 36th position, a solid result for the developing 23 year old triathlete.
White said ” I was ranked 36th going into the race but with more experience I could have finished just inside the top 30. I made a few mistakes but I’ll learn from that – it’s been a great experience all round for me and I’d like to thanks Tri Ireland and the Olympic Council for all their support”.
Full Results Here