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Echoes of London as triathletes battle for gold

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The best Triathlon images of Baku 2015

Triathlon | The best of Baku 2015
Athletes enter the water at the start of the women's Triathlon final. Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Anastasia Abrosimova of Russia and Rachel Klamer of Netherlands emerge from the water in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Anastasia Abrosimova of Russia and Rachel Klamer of Netherlands emerge from the water in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Elena Danilova of Russia emerges from the water in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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Competitors in the Women's Triathlon Final. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Nicola Spirig of Switzerland rides in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: (R-L) Lisa Norden of Sweden, Nicola Spirig of Switzerland and Rachel Klamer of Netherlands ride in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Competitors ride in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Romana Gajdosova of Slovakia and Ivana Kuriackova of Slovakia transition to their bikes in the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Athletes compete in the Womens' Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Anastasia Abrosimova (L) of Russia competes in the Womens' Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: (L-R) Silver medalist Rachel Klamer of Netherlands, gold medalist Nicola Spirig of Switzerland and bronze medalist Lisa Norden of Sweden celebrate following the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: (L-R) Silver medalist Rachel Klamer of Netherlands, gold medalist Nicola Spirig of Switzerland and bronze medalist Lisa Norden of Sweden celebrate with their medals following the Women's Triathlon Final during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Athletes enter the water in the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Athletes exit the water in the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Rostyslav Pevtsov of Azerbaijan (9) leads the group in the cycling leg of the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Athletes ride their bike in the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: The athletes ride in the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Gordon Benson of Great Britain rides during the cycling leg of the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: The athletes dismount from their bike in the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Gordon Benson of Great Britain approaches the finish line to win gold in the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: (L-R) Silver medalist Joao Silva of Portugal, gold medalist Gordon Benson of Great Britain and bronze medalist Rostyslav Pevtsov of Azerbaijan celebrate during the medal ceremony for the Men's Triathlon Final during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Bilgah Beach on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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A review of Triathlon at the Baku 2015 European Games

Triathlon took place over the first weekend of Baku 2015, and brought with it many echoes of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In the women’s event, Nicola Spirig repeated her first-place finish from London, albeit with a larger gap between herself and rival Lisa Norden.

The men’s race in Baku was without Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan, who took gold and bronze in 2012, but Great Britain found a new triathlon hero in Gordon Benson.

The women went on Saturday 13 June, and much of the pre-race hype focused on the rematch between Spirig and Norden, who were only separated by a photo-finish in London – a result that ended up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

This time Switzerland’s Spirig left no doubt, finishing in two hours and 28 seconds – one minute and 16 seconds ahead of Ducthwoman Rachel Klamer, with Norden in third.

Spirig and Benson won places the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for their National Olympic Committees, and the Swiss said: “It feels amazing to win the first European Games and to have won a qualifying spot for the Olympics in Rio makes this a perfect day for me.”

“Winning the qualifying place means I can go an unconventional way to the Olympics and gives me the freedom to prepare my season as I want.”

The first three broke clear of the rest on the first lap of the bike stage and Klamer outsprinted Norden to take silver by two seconds in 2:01:44, leaving the Swede with a satisfying bronze as she continues her recovery from long-term injury.

The men’s race was won by an athlete who hardly figured in the pre-race predictions. Benson, the European under-23 champion, won in one hour, 48 minutes, 31 seconds after a thrilling battle in the baking sun on 14 June.

Benson, 21, broke clear halfway through the 10km run stage and held off the fast-finishing Portuguese Joao Silva, who emerged from fifth place, 50 seconds back, over the last lap to claim silver in 1:48:42.

Azerbaijan’s Rostyslav Pevtsov finished third in 1:49:04, a tremendous effort that thrilled the locals.

Fierce sun and 30-degree heat made it tough going, with Silva and Pevtsov producing blistering runs to ensure that Benson had to work hard for gold.


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    Echoes of London as triathletes battle for gold

    A review of Triathlon at the Baku 2015 European Games
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    Triathlete Gordon Benson wins first gold for Great Britain

    European U23 champion holds off Portugal's Joao Silva in thrilling battle
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    Switzerland's Nicola Spirig wins gold in women's Triathlon

    Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands takes silver and Sweden's Lisa Norden claims bronze
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    Spain's Alarza favourite for men's Triathlon gold

    Winner of Sunday's event will earn Rio 2016 place for his NOC
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    Ireland's Reid ready to upset the Spirig - Norden rematch

    Three women set to dominate the Triathlon, with Reid to challenge London 2012 rivals
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    Swedish coach tips Norden for Triathlon revenge

    Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden faces London 2012 rival in Baku
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    Alarza and Reid shine at ITU World Triathlon

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