Triathlete Gomez is the GOAT (greatest of all time)

  • Other Sports
  • Monday, 28 Oct 2019

A class above: Javier Gomez of Spain shattered the course record to clinch the Ironman Malaysia men’s elite title in emphatic fashion.

PETALING JAYA: Javier Gomez cemented his status as the greatest triathlete in history after shattering the course record to clinch the Ironman Malaysia title in emphatic fashion.

The Spaniard, with nine world titles to his name, crossed the finish line in a stunning 8’18:58 to eclipse the men’s elite course record set by 2017 French champion Romain Guillaume (8’32:54) in 2017.

Switzerland’s Philipp Koutny finished behind him in 8’24:18 while Brazil’s Thiago Vinhal took third place with an 8’31:15 finish.

Holland’s Tessa Kortekaas won the women’s elite category in 9’43:20 in what was her first year as a professional.

The 36-year-old Gomez was delighted to secure his first Ironman title under scorching conditions.

“It’s great, it’s my first Ironman win! It was a tough race, it was sunny all the time and the temperatures were high,” said Gomez.

“I had to give my best because Philipp (Koutny) did an amazing job on the bike. I had to catch up with him and take some risks at the beginning of the run but luckily I could keep up and take the win.”

Gomez was the marquee name in the 26-man professional field and he lived up to his reputation with a powerful swim in the waters of Pantai Kok to emerge the first man out in 47:17.

But Koutny emerged a contender when he overtook Gomez for the lead at the 75km mark of the bike part.

However, Gomez upped the ante in the 42km run. He shaved off Koutny’s five-minute advantage to just 25 seconds after 26km and regained his lead through 33km to finish in sensational fashion at Cenang Beach.

“I set my pace, and I kept my nutrition by eating and drinking. It was difficult because I was struggling in the last six or seven km but I’m happy to have crossed the finish line,” said the 2012 Olympic triathlon silver medallist, whose winning race here is part of his preparations for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Gomez also earned an automatic slot to the 2020 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, next year.

Kortekaas, meanwhile, was coming to terms with her monumental victory in her first year as a professional female athlete.

“It’s not easy, not many professionals will reach this goal in the first year. I cannot believe it, I have no words,” said the former age-grouper world champion.

“I trained super hard for this. I had a great swim, bike was good but the last 50 km was so hard and I was suffering. It’s going to take a long time before I believe this has happened.”


Men’s elite: 1. Javier Gomez (Spa) 8’18:58, 2. Phillip Koutny (Swi) 8’24:18, 3. Thiago Vinhal (Bra) 8’31:15.

Women’s elite: 1. Tessa Kortekaas (Ned) 9’43:19, 2. Naomi Washizu (Jpn) 9’52:00, 3. Simona Krivankova (Cze) 9’59:27.

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Javier Gomez , Ironman Malaysia


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