Ironman Emilia-Romagna, held in Cervia, Italy produced two great performances and two great stories as our Trisutto girls battled it out to finish an outstanding first and second place.
Svenja Thoes taking the win just 5 weeks after winning Ironman Ireland, where she was controversially disqualified after the winning presentation had taken place. She was then the subject of cruel attacks on social media when there was little, or no clarification of what the disqualification was for. As there was an official protest, Svenja was prevented from publically commenting on the incident.
I can only say that the incident was not a drafting violation, or any other dreamt up scenario, but one great story that any real Ironman triathlete would find great compassion for.
What should be admired is Svenja's tenacity to bounce back and go again so soon after Ireland, and to produce another magnificent performance. Well done Svenja!
Julie Derron took silver in her Ironman debut. It also was an incredible performance. Leading from the front, 'Little Pistol' showed why this is her squad name. She gave it her all. When engulfed at the 135 kilometre of the bike most thought ITU Julie was done. However Julie showed great poise and maturity at this new distance, roaring back into medal contention on the run. To run sub 3 hours at your maiden Ironman is sensational.
What makes it even more special, this was no planned event. Julie, after an ITU World Cup race said:
"Coach, you know how you talked about me being very good at long distance? Well let’s see, as I have two years to concentrate on Olympic selection".
Coach: “There is only one left, as the last one is at the same time as ITU World Championships. And that’s in two weeks.“
Little Pistol: “Let’s. Give it a try; I'd like to see."
Well, the world could see Julie Derron is a world class Ironman in waiting, should she want to return. Great job Little Pistol!