By Sports Reporter
For a brief period, Japan’s Juri Ide was not at the front of the Elite women’s field at the QNB Asia Triathlon Cup Doha 2021 but between exiting Lusail Marina’s waters and mounting her bicycle she had already overhauled the 17-second lead of countrywoman, Minori Ikeno. A five-strong pack proceeded to battle it out over the 40 kilometres of cycling.
On a course which did not lend itself well to solo escapes, Ide bided her time until the run.
The 38-year-old was by far the most decorated and experienced of the elite competitors in Doha with a career highlight of a fifth place at the Beijing 2008 Olympiad.
She came to Doha as favourite and, as part of a trio of Japanese – Ide, Chisato Nakajima and Minori Ikeno – stretched out a lead over the 10 kilometre finale to this spectacular event.
It became very clear it would be a hard task to beat her and so it proved. She came to the line with 24 seconds in hand with an overall time of 1hr 56m 54s.
The women’s public race was less nailed down than that of the elite. Although a large Kuwait team had come to Doha, it was the local favourites engaged in a ding-dong battle for the lead.
Rebecca Page, Adeline Cormary and Gerda Maria Dimitru (Rasen Sport) led the charge of the favourites onto the bike but all were overhauled by Julie Melville (Rasen Sport) who put in the fastest bike split of the day to give herself a good lead into the run.
Behind this pair, Dimitru and Andrea Stadler (Al Ghariyah Triathlon) exited bike-run transition together, with Stadler making up for a below-par swim by accelerating into third position.
Eventual winner, Toni Snoxel picks up the story: “I came in with a bad frame of mind and only realised that I hadn’t cycled hard enough when I was able to run under 4 minutes per kilometre, which I haven’t done in a race for a long time.”
This turn of speed catapulted her into second place, while ahead Julie Melville pulled up with a calf injury and could only spectate at walking pace as Snoxell, Stadler, Cormary.
Page, meanwhile, claimed the top spot in what turned out to be a thrilling race.
Snoxell reflected on the event saying: “Congratulations to the organisers, I really enjoyed being treated like the elites. It was really cool to be part of something with an international feel.”
Further back in the results, Noor Ali (W-QA) illustrated the spirit of triathlon and was an inspiration to all by summoning the water safety crew to assist a competitor in difficulty.
Noor went on to place second in the Qatari Women category behind Caroline Van Aartrijk.
The QNB Asia Triathlon Cup, Doha 2021 was supported by event title sponsor QNB, event partners Qatari Diar, NTT, Rayyan Water, Sports Corner and Rasen Sports and institutional partner Qatar Olympic Committee.
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