2012 ITU Age-group World Championships

The shaded run and a record number of athletes helped to put the 2012 ITU Age-Group World Championships in the International Triathlon Union history books, with more than 3,000 athletes racing at Queens Wharf in Auckland

For 54-year-old Steven Wade (USA) this event marked a number of milestones: his 181st triathlon, 29th year competing in triathlons and, after cancer surgery last December followed by radiation therapy in January this year, he is nine months into a 12-month chemotherapy protocol

In a truly international field, the world’s strongest nations sent huge teams to contest these world championships, with numbers in the hundreds from New Zealand, USA, Australia and Great Britain and dozens from Mexico, Ireland, Brazil and South Africa. Overall, Australia just pipped the hosts, New Zealand, to first on the overall age-group medal tally. Australia finished with 28 medals and 12 gold, to New Zealand’s tally of 25 medals and 10 gold. Great Britain finished in third, with 16 medals and the United States in fourth with 14.

The biggest showdown was expected when New Zealand’s Rick Wells, who was a bronze medallist at the very first ITU World Championships in Avignon, France in 1989, took on another triathlon legend in Scott Molina in the men’s 50 to 54 age-group. But it was Australia’s Jeff Collier who upstaged them, surging ahead to beat Molina and Farrell in third. It was his first gold after two silver medals.“It feels great after they talked up the Kiwis at the start line,” he said.

For 54-year-old Steven Wade (USA) this event marked a number of milestones: his 181st triathlon, 29th year competing in triathlons and, after cancer surgery last December followed by radiation therapy in January this year, he is nine months into a 12-month chemotherapy protocol. Australia cleaned up in the 18-19 categories with Jenna Fulton and Grant Melzer taking first place. New Zealand reversed this in the 20-24 categories with Reubyn Bisschops and Kieran McPherson, making it a clean sweep for the host nation.

This year’s ITU Age-Group World Championships take place in London on 11-15 September.

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