• Germany's news in English

Frodeno wins surprise triathlon gold

AFP · 19 Aug 2008, 07:53

Published: 19 Aug 2008 07:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Frodeno, 27, passed Canada's 2000 Olympic champion Simon Whitfield with just metres left, finishing in 1 hour 48 minutes 53 seconds.

Athens silver-medallist Bevan Docherty of New Zealand took bronze while there was heartbreak for hot favourite Javier Gomez, triathlon's "Tiger Woods," who was relegated to fourth.

"I think I slept about two hours last night," Frodeno said. "I knew I had trained very well but these guys who were with me at the front were really the big guys."

The six-foot-three (1.94 metre) Frodeno was nobody's pre-race tip with a relatively modest record including 13 top-10 World Cup finishes and last year's German national title. But he put on a devastating burst of speed to run down Whitfield and leave Gomez and Docherty trailing.

"I just tried to execute my own race. As Simon went I knew it was going to be tough, I just had to bite and fight," Frodeno said. "This year I've lost all my races on sprints. It teaches you a lesson and I've learned at the right time I guess."

The 1.5 kilometre (0.93 mile) swim, 40 kilometre cycle and 10 kilometre run was held at the scenic Ming Tomb Reservoir near Beijing.

The four had been neck-and-neck entering the stadium but world champion Gomez faded at the final turn, dashing the Spaniard's hopes of a first Olympic medal.

"I gave it all I had and Jan just kept coming," said Whitfield. "What a spectacular performance by him."

Docherty described the race, held in steamy temperatures of 28 C (82 F), as "cat and mouse."

"I was a little bit nervous with just those four guys there but it depends how much you want it," he said. "These guys really wanted it so much more."

Russian Alexander Bryukhankov had led out the swim but it was New Zealand's Shane Reed who landed first and made it through the transition followed by Frederic Belaube of France with Gomez not far behind. Luxembourg's Dirk Bockel and Axel Zeebroek of Belgium broke away on the bike leg and established a lead of nearly a minute on the favourites going

into the run.

Story continues below…

Their advantage was chopped to just 20 seconds by the end of lap one and it disappeared entirely in the next lap as Gomez and Spanish team-mate Ivan Rana hit the front. The smart money was on Gomez, 25, who has four World Cup victories this season after winning the series for the past two years running. He also won last year's World Cup race on this course.

But the expected surge never came as he was tracked all the way by Frodeno, Whitfield and Docherty, and ran out of steam at the last. "I didn't get it but sport is like that. It's not mathematics," Gomez said. "I gave it everything I had to give. I tried to charge in the third lap but it wasn't enough. I had nothing more to do."

Frodeno wins Germany's first triathlon gold after Stephan Vuckovic's silver behind Whitfield in 2000.

"In Sydney I just rolled along and I beat a German, and today he (Jan) got me back so there's a little bit of irony in that," Whitfield said.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd