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Beth Potter finds paradise in Pontevedra to become World Champion and stamp Paris 2024 ticket

by Doug Gray/World Triathlon media

Second in the rankings heading in to the Championship Finals but with the knowledge that gold would also win a first world title, Great Britain’s Beth Potter rose to the occasion in Pontevedra on Sunday afternoon, her imperious 10km seeing her become the first British World Triathlon champion since Vicky Holland in 2018.

There was work to be done out of the water to ensure that the front pack was in reach out onto the 40km bike, and it was in the closing stages of the first lap that she succeeded, working well with Kate Waugh to bridge up. From that point on, the front group hoovered up the course and 15 athletes came into T2 together. A lightning transition, and Potter had daylight over Cassandre Beaugrand and the French number one never quite recovered, the two Brits flying through the 10km to take gold and silver, Beaugrand building up to a big finish for bronze. Sixth place for France’s Emma Lombardi saw her win the Series bronze.

“This has been a dream season, I am really lost for words,” said Potter. “I wasn’t actually feeling too good on the swim and bike today so I had to work quite hard. I really backed myself and focussed on all my training. I felt really good on the run. It was really nice to run with my teammate and see her get her first Series medal. That was the goal, winning the World Championships. I was very determined, I am not surprised but it’s been tough. Thanks to those who have supported me.”

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Kingma and Seregni spearhead swim

Numbers one and two Beaugrand and Potter lined up together for the non-wetsuit, 1500m swim, but it was Seregni predictably driving the swim with Olivia Mathias right on her feet early on, Potter and Beaugrand wedged in the middle of the main pack as they came back for the end of lap one.

Back onto the platform it was Seregni from Mathias and Maya KingmaTaylor Spivey, Potter, Beaugrand and Emma Lombardi all together just 10seconds back, Jorgensen also well set in the middle of the pack.

Their second pack was struggling to stay on the front six, it was Sophie Coldwell, Kingma and Mathias out together, Beaugrand with a short window over Potter.

Potter bridges up fast

The Brit was onto her bike with Waugh and Laura Lindemann to try and catch onto the Spivey and Beaugrand group. Lindemann was first to bridge, Spivey joined and then Potter and Waugh were finally able to make it over before the end of lap one. First possible moment of danger dealt with.

USA’s Gwen Jorgensen got onto a big group led by Lisa Tertsch at the half-hour mark, Summer Rappaport also dropping in that group.

Rappaport’s race was then over on lap three with an injury, but it was Kingma making a play out front and stretching things, the chasers losing ground some 40 seconds back as a result despite the efforts of Julie Derron, Nina Eim and Zaferes.

That group began to organise itself better from the halfway point and the gap stuck around the 40 second mark, ass Jorgensen was dropped off the back, and then the margin slowly reduced with every passing lap.

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Pitch-perfect 10km finale for title

It was Lombardi, Waugh and Potter out of T2 first, Beaugrand slow to get into her runners, then an early burst from the Brits helped them pull away with Lombardi over lap one, Beaugrand dropping to run alongside Coldwell and Lehair six seconds off the front trio.

Waugh held firm alongside her teammate until Potter found her now-familiar extra gear to close off a resurgent Beaugrand threat, the Brit powering on into the stadium one last time and down the blue carpet for glory, silver for Waugh who was followed over the line by Series runner up Beaugrand in third. Lisa Tertsch took fourth, Rachel Klamer also a brilliant run for fifth and a guaranteed fourth Olympic start at Paris 2024. Sixth for Emma Lombardi saw her take the Series bronze.

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