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Team USA Grabs Three Titles, 12 Medals at ITU Aquathlon Worlds
Four more days of competition ahead in London’s Hyde Park
LONDON—Team USA earned three age-group world titles and 12 total medals at the 2013 ITU Aquathlon World Championships on Wednesday, the opening day of multisport competition in Hyde Park.
In the 1,000-meter swim, 5-kilometer run event, gold medals were won by Heysoon Lee (65-69, Morristown, N.J.), Jody Kelly (75-79, Austin, Texas) and Donald Ardell (75-79, St. Petersburg, Fla.). Team USA, which is comprised of amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU world championship event, also claimed three silver medals and five bronze. Jeremy Winters (TRI-6b, Murfreesboro, Tenn.) also picked up a silver medal in the paratriathlon aquathlon championships.
Aquathlon Worlds is the first event of eight to be held over the course of five days in Hyde Park, in the same venue as the 2012 London Olympic Games triathlon. The setting is the perfect backdrop for age-group athletes like Dave Robinette (70-74, Centennial, Colo.), a long-time Team USA member.
“It’s in the heart of one of the key cities in the world, […] in Hyde Park, with all this history, and it’s the special nature of just being here,” he said. “Knowing that this is also where last year’s Olympics were, and then not only being able to compete myself but to see the best athletes in the world. It’s a beautiful venue.”
Though cloudy and cool, U.S. athletes had nothing but positive things to say about the course and their experiences on the opening day of competition. Athletes like first-time Team USA member Emily Krueger (30-34, Los Angeles, Calif.) traveled to London specifically for this event and were satisfied with the result. “I consider myself an aquathlon purist,” Krueger said. “I was just thinking maybe I could get top 10 in my age group. I really like doing this, and it’s just a really fun thing that I do outside of my day job.”
Aquathlon is a growing multisport discipline, and the number of Americans competing in the event nearly doubled from last year. The athletes also faced tough competition from other countries like Australia, New Zealand and host country Great Britain.
“Every race is different, so you just don’t know,” said Kerry Simmons (45-49, Point Lookout, N.Y.), who finished third in her age group after winning silver in Auckland in 2012. “There are so many people here this time. I think the U.S. probably has one of the biggest teams here. There were a lot more people out here than last year.”
Age-group competition will resume Friday with Sprint Worlds, and will continue with Olympic-Distance Worlds on Sunday. For some athletes, the aquathlon event was a warm-up for what’s to come later in the week. Simmons is one of 15 Americans who will be competing in all three age-group events. “It’s a chance in three to do something special,” she said. An additional 57 athletes who competed Wednesday will be racing again on either Friday or Sunday.
In addition to aquathlon and the sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlon age-group races, the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final, Junior, Under-23 and paratriathlon world championships will be contested over the next four days. Visit usatriathlon.org for full coverage of each race.
2013 ITU Aquathlon World Championships – Click here for complete results
1,000m swim, 5k run
United States Age-Group Medalists
2. Jeremy Winters (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 44:36
3. Medena Knespl (Cambridge, Mass.), 33:34
2. Matt Koenigs (Snohomish, Wash.), 30:07
3. Kerry Simmons (Point Lookout, N.Y.), 35:56
3. Karlyn Pipes (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii), 35:54
2. Ellen Hart (Denver, Colo.), 39:40
3. Carol Hassell (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 42:44
1. Heysoon Lee (Morristown, N.J.), 54:04
3. Arby Kitzman (Morro Bay, Calif.), 46:00
1. Jody Kelly (Austin, Texas), 1:20:38
1. Donald Ardell (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 47:46
2. Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), 1:13:55
About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with more than 550,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).