Vicky Holland, Loughborough University alumna enjoyed yet another high point in her glittering career as she was crowned world champion for the first time, two years after winning bronze at the Rio Olympic Games.
Coming into the Grand Final, the final stage of the season long ITU World Series, Holland knew that she needed to better the result of American Katie Zaferes to be crowned world number one. After a brilliant swim saw her exit transition in the lead group, Holland rode strongly, coming into the second transition as one of eight leaders going out onto the 10km run.
From the get-go on the run three athletes broke clear – Australian Ashleigh Gentle, Holland and her arch-rival Zaferes. At the 5km mark it was the Aussie and American who had pressed on, leaving Holland some five seconds in arears but the Brit refused to give in, battling back in the last 10 minutes of racing to overhaul Zaferes and do battle with the Gentle for the win. In the end the Aussie won the sprint finish, which mattered little to the Loughborough alumna who knew she’d done enough to be crowned world champion.
“I can’t actually believe it”, said Holland.
“I thought at one point of the run that it was done because there was quite a big gap there – I can’t believe I brought it back in. This season as a whole has been absolutely incredible with three wins, two seconds and now the world title. It is so much more than I thought I would get out of the year!”
Also in action for Great Britain on Australia’s Gold Coast were 14 Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre (LTPC) athletes, contesting the junior, U23, senior and paratriathlon events.
In the paratriathlon races every single LTPC member won a medal, a remarkable achievement.