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18 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

Ben Dijkstra takes triathlon gold after photo finish

Great Britain's Ben Dijkstra won the men's triathlon gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.  After a 750m swim, a 20km bike ride, and a 5km run, it came down to straight sprint between Daniel Hoy (NZL) and Dijkstra, with the New Zealander's late surge not quite enough. They finished in 54 minutes, 43 seconds, followed six seconds back by Emil Deleuran Hansen (DEN), who took bronze, and Peer Sonksen (GER) fourth, 14 seconds behind the winning time.

Unlike the women's race on Sunday, August 17, this sprint distance contest came down to the run, after a group of 14 riders finished the bike leg as a clear lead group. The field quickly spread out over the run, but four athletes were still together after the first lap, before Hoy and Dijkstra made their break on the last circuit.

Earlier, light rain had begun falling at the start of the bike leg, which eventually created slick conditions, and two riders from the initial lead group crashed on the third lap. Diego Alejandro Lopez Acosta (MEX) and Philip Horwarth (AUT) recovered to stay in the race, but were out of contention. The lead group was noticeably more cautious as they approached the transition area on the fourth and final lap of the bike.

“It was quite tense but I'm glad it went this way in the end,” Dijkstra said. ”I am relieved, yeah. It was such a good race, and Danny's such a good athlete. I'm really pleased with the result and that I've got this gold medal now.”

Meanwhile, Hansen said a bronze medal was far beyond his expectations.  “It's just amazing. I never hoped in heaven to do this. I'd thought about a top 10 finish, so this is just amazing.”

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