Leo Bergere (centre), Morgan Pearson (left) and Jelle Geens celebrate at the World Triathlon Championship Finals podium
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
France’s Leo Bergere upset the odds to win his first World Triathlon title after finishing first in the elite men’s event in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Bergere, who was third in the rankings going into the final race of the series, finished his race in a time of 1:44:14 to secure the gold medal and win the championship.
The championship had come down to the wire going into Saturday’s race but Bergere came out of it as the unlikely victor. Great Britain’s Alex Yee needed to place third to win but finished three seconds behind Belgium’s Jelle Geens to place fourth.
“It’s insane,” Bergere said of his success. “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t want to do the maths before the race, I just wanted to race all out and try to break away.
“We went for it as a team and I can’t thank them enough.”
The World Triathlon Championship Finals 2022 presented by Daman have come to a close in Abu Dhabi after four days of scintillating competition and activities, further enhancing the UAE capital’s place as a global sporting event leader.
More than 80 international federations were represented at the Finals, hosted in Abu Dhabi for the first time, with the stunning backdrop of Yas Waterfront on Yas Island – a global hub for major sporting competition.
This was the culmination of the 2022 World Triathlon Series season, as world champions were crowned across elite, elite U23, para, and age group categories – with jubilant crowds on hand to cheer them home in a festival-like atmosphere. In addition, community and junior races hosted athletes of all ages and abilities giving athletes the chance to race on the same course and the same weekend as the world’s best.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “Abu Dhabi has a long history with the sport of triathlon, but to host the World Triathlon Championship Finals for the first time has been an incredible honour.
“We thank everyone who has made this possible including event organisers, athletes, fans, sponsors, World Triathlon for putting their trust in Abu Dhabi to host this end-of-season showpiece, and Yas Island which has once again shown what a world-class sporting venue this is.
“The level of competition across all categories has been incredible. We have been inspired by all the athletes who took part and provided an excellent spectacle, but we must offer a special congratulations to the winners.’’
Marisol Casado, President of World Triathlon, and IOC board member said: “This has been the perfect end to a wonderful World Triathlon Series season. The competition was fiercely contested, and all the athletes showed us what triathlon is all about – amazing levels of fitness, determination, and heart – but also a wonderful sense of community and inclusion. To see so many taking part in community, age group, para, and elite competition shows the inclusivity of this sport, and we take huge pride in seeing participation growing year after year.”