Ryf Wins Under23 World Champs

08 June, 2008

Switzerlands Daniela Ryf won todays under23 world championship, becoming the first Swiss triathlete to be crowned world champion in seven years.  Ryf adds the world title to an already impressive breakthrough season in which she has climbed to number three in the world after her first career world cup podium in Madrid two weeks ago.  American Jasmine Oeinck took silver for the second straight year while South Africas Mari Rabie made triathlon history.  With the bronze, Rabie became the first athlete from Africa to ever win a triathlon world championship medal.

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It was a great race, Im so happy.  It was amazing but it was so hard.  It was a really hard race, said Ryf at the finish line. 

The weather didnt improve much on the final day of racing at the world championships as the under23 womens field ran into the cold waters of English Bay.  Leading the women out of the water was Rabie, the reigning African champion, following closely by Oeinck, Inna Tsyganok of the Ukraine and Ryf.  In the first of eight laps on the 40-kilometer bike course, Ryf, Rabie and Oeinck immediately formed the lead pack.  The strong cycling group surged to a 49-second lead after the first lap.  With a decent sized hill on the course, the trio were able to get away, continuing to add to the lead.  After the 15 kilometers, the gap to the chase pack ballooned to 2:09, and then swelled to almost three minutes after the fifth lap.  By the end of the bike, three chase packs came together in pursuit of the leaders.

Yesterday I was so scared because it was so cold.  I was freezing on the bike and tried to work hard with the girls to keep warm.  Today it was push push because I was too scared I would freeze.  When I started to run, I didnt feel my legs at all, I just ran, said Ryf.

By the time the leaders came off the bike, Rabie was first onto the 10-kilometer run course with a slim 6-second lead on Ryf.  Oeinck struggled in T2 and had difficulty getting her helmet off with her numb fingers and left transition 22 seconds back of Rabie.  The chase pack rode in 2:43 down but included a number of strong runners including Ukraines Yuliya Sapunova and Renata Koch of Hungary, last years under23 bronze medalist. 

On the run Ryf immediately took command and opened a 23-second lead on Oeinck with Rabie a further ten seconds back.  As the women took the bell lap victory for Ryf seemed inevitable while Oeinck was solid in the silver medal position.  Ryf cruised to the finish line proudly waving the Swiss flag to win by a convincing 31-second margin of victory over Oeinck who came across for silver.  Rabie was feeling pressure from Olesya Prystayko of the Ukraine but the South African managed to hang on for the bronze, to become the first from her continent to make the podium at the triathlon world championships.  Prystayko came across in fourth place while Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile finished in fifth place.  In all it was a tough day for the womens field as only 19 women finished the race.

Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships, Canada
Under23 Women Official Results

1.5km swim, 40km swim, 10km run
Gold Daniela Ryf (SUI) 2:09:30
Silver Jasmine Oeinck (USA) 2:10:02
Bronze Mari Rabie (RSA) 2:11:35
4th Olesya Prystayko (UKR) 2:12:51
5th Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) 2:13:02
6th Justine Whipple (USA) 2:13:08
7th Yuliya Sapunova (UKR) 2:13:32
8th Renata Koch (HUN) 2:13:55
9th Sarah Fladung (GER) 2:14:25
10th Kerry Spearing (CAN) 2:14:57
Click here for official full field results

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world championship series vancouver under23 olesya prystayko jasmine oeinck daniela ryf barbara riveros diaz

event website

2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships