Holland aces Tokyo triathlon test

Holland aces Tokyo triathlon test

15 August 2019 / 13:36
Vicky Holland conquered punishing heat and a demanding course to bag bronze at the ITU World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event.

The 33-year-old, who claimed individual Olympic bronze in Rio, laid down a marker at the test event and reminded of her class as she aims to return to the rostrum at next year’s Games.

Despite the disqualification of Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown, Holland was delighted to play her part in a towering team performance that saw Non Stanford and Sophie Coldwell also finish in the top ten. 

“I felt really good on the run,” said Holland, from Gloucester.

“I would have liked to have run the full 10km as I think that would have played to my strengths and I just felt better and better as the run went on.

“I feel like we were probably the best prepared team coming to Tokyo and the heat prep seemed to make us all fitter which was shown in the results.

“I think we all finished in the top 11 which is great.”

Holland touched at 19:58 on the swim leg, some 30 seconds shy of the lead with compatriot Stanford close at hand.

The British pair fought hard alongside Japan’s Yuko Takahashi and Dutch star Rachel Klamer on the eight-lap bike leg.

Momentum shifted in the lead pack on the track with USA’s Katie Zaferes, a long-standing rival of Holland’s, bowing out and two-time world champion Flora Duffy beginning to force the issue.

Firmly in the picture when bikes were racked, Holland blistered the 5km run with a race-best time of 16:30 to finish fifth.

After Jessica Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown were disqualified for crossing the finish line hand-in-hand, Holland was upgraded to third, Stanford to seventh and Sophie Coldwell to ninth.

Bermuda’s Duffy took victory in a time of 01:40:19, 52 seconds ahead of Holland.

“I think we can take a lot of positives out of the performance of our athletes,” said Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon National Performance Director.

“They all coped with the conditions well and I think each one raced to the best of their ability and I want to thank the support staff for their hard work in ensuring the athletes were as prepared as possible.

“It’s a testament to the depth of our female squad that we still have another athlete on the podium.

“What the athletes delivered has told us a lot ahead of next year and to have five athletes in the top 11 is great.”

Sportsbeat 2019