Summer Cook (USA) and Uxio Abuin Ares (ESP) sprint to victory in Tongyeong

By International Triathlon Union

Tongyeong ITU World Cup is the penultimate race of the series for 2016 and delivered wins to Summer Cook (USA) and Spain’s Uxio Abuin Ares.

The final sprint stop of the 2016 ITU World Cup circuit came to a close on Saturday with 126 athletes lining up for one last chance of a podium finish in Tongyeong, a beautiful port city located on the southern edge of the Korean Peninsula.

Men's Review
Spain once again stood on the top spot of the podium with Uxio Abuin Ares claiming his first ITU World Cup victory in Tongyeong in a four-way sprint.

For American Matt Mcelroy it was his second silver medal this season, the first at Salinas World Cup and Vladimir Turbayevskiy (RUS) hanging on for the bronze.

Ares was in the race all day, 11 seconds down after the swim he remained vigilant, tucked into the front group on the bike and then set about his work on the run.

The final metres came down to a ‘final four’ on the blue carpet with Ares snatching the win and his first gold medal.
A capacity men’s field of 85 broke the glassy conditions of the Tongyeong Harbour in a one-lap swim. Young Australian Matthew Roberts was the first to emerge from the 750m swim with Maximillian Schwetz (GER), William Huffman (USA). Trailing them by a few seconds was the familiar site of Andrey Bryukhankov (RUS) racing without his brother this time but compatriot Vladimir Turbayevskiy (RUS) by his side. The swim did little to break up the field and subsequently a long line of athletes emerged in quick succession.

Heading out on the first of three laps on the bike a group of 27 formed at the front of the race with a 24 second lead from the chasers that contained 2016 Olympian’s Rostislav Pevtsov (AZE), Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) and Portugal’s Joao Silva all missing the front pack.

As they rolled through the transition at the end of lap one it was Ryousuke Maeda (JPN) and American pair Gregory Billington and William Huffman that led the charge. Over the next two laps with multiple lead changes but no opportunity for a break away the group remained intact and prepared for a flat out 5km run.

The pace after the first 2.5km put the hurt on and we were left with just 10 men. As they came through transition for the last time, Simon De Cuyper (BEL) led followed by a trio of American’s, Kevin McDowell, Matt Mcelroy and Gregroy Billington.

As the pace heated up there remained just four in contention in the closing stages. Ares earlier patience paid dividends in the end with the fresher legs delivering him his first World Cup win in a four-way sprint on the blue carpet from Mcelroy and Turbayevskiy who backed up his win last weekend at the Alanya ETU Final Triathlon European Cup.

Women's Review
The penultimate leg of the ITU World Cup season was a memorable one for Summer Cook (USA) continued her outstanding 2016 break through year, winning the 2016 Tongyeong Triathlon World Cup.

It was the second World Cup victory for Cook in a time of 59:43, from Ai Ueda (JPN) and Renee Tomlin (USA).

Cook’s season began with victory at the ITU World Cup race in Chengdu back in April, and followed up with a career first win at WTS Edmonton. Her recent second place at Salinas World Cup confirmed her speed over the sprint distance.

Ueda has also had a strong year of results claiming bronze in front of a home crowd at WTS Yokohama and her consistency was rewarded finishing with an overall third place on the WTS ranking.

A total of 52 women hit the calm waters for the one lap swim in Tongyeong Harbour. It was a cool and drizzly day in Tongyeong as the American pair Cook and Jessica Broderick (USA) lead out of the water with Japan’s Fuka Sega right on their heels.

There was a long stream of women that followed in quick succession including Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN), Yuka Sato (JAP), Jaz Hedgeland (AUS), Renee Tomlin (USA) and wearing the number one on Saturday Ai Ueda (JAP).

The swim did little to break up the front and a group of 24 merged to form the lead bunch on the first lap of the bike with a 24 second lead on the chasers. It contained all the identified contenders, Cook, Tomlin, Ueda. Three laps on the tricky course that includes a steep climb may have taken the sting out of the legs for some.

It was Australian Jaz Hedgeland, Tomlin, Ueda and Broderick that were consistently driving the train on the bike, but as they came into the final changeover it was hectic and still anyone’s for the taking.

Ueda and Yuka Takahashi were the first to leave T2 but just 11 seconds separated 22 women for the final 5km run leg.

It came down to the final 2.5km with just five women remaining in the hunt for the medals. Cook, Tomlin, Ueda, Takahashi and Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS).

But it was Cook that cleared out in the closing stages to take her second world cup victory and close out 2016 on a winning note.

Ueda didn’t quiet have the foot speed of Cook on Saturday finishing 11 seconds behind and Tomlin rounding out the podium for a US gold and bronze.

2016 Tongyeong ITU World Cup
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run


1   Uxio Abuin Ares                         ESP00:53:39
2   Matthew Mcelroy                       USA00:01
3   Vladimir Turbayevskiy               RUS00:01
4   Rostislav Pevtsov                      AZE00:01
5   Simon De Cuyper                      BEL00:04
6   Kevin Mcdowell                         USA00:07
7   Felix Duchampt                         FRA00:10
8   Drew Box                                  AUS00:12
9   Eli Hemming                             USA00:13
10 Gregory Billington                     USA00:14

1   Summer Cook                         USA00:59:43
2   Ai Ueda                                   JPN00:12
3   Renee Tomlin                         USA00:32
4   Felicity Sheedy-Ryan             AUS00:35
5   Jaz Hedgeland                       AUS00:42
6   Yuko Takahashi                     JPN00:46
7   Sara Vilic                               AUT00:57
8   Yuliya Yelistratova                  UKR01:06
9   Yuka Sato                              JPN01:08
10 Jessica Broderick                  USA01:09

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