Japan clinches third triathlon gold from mixed relay
Japan cemented its domination of the triathlon by securing gold in the mixed relay triathlon at Jakabaring Sport City (JSC), Palembang, on Sunday. With the mixed relay victory, Japan has swept clean all three triathlon golds in this year’s Asian Games.
Japan finished first at 1 hour, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. South Korea finished second 2 minutes and 12 seconds later, while Hong Kong, China finished third 2 minutes and 25 seconds after that.
Japan’s team comprised Yuka Sato, Jumpei Furuya, Yuko Takahashi and Yuichi Hosoda. Previously, Takahashi won gold in the women’s triathlon on Friday, while Furuya won gold in the men’s triathlon on Saturday.
This was the first time the mixed relay triathlon was contested in the Asian Games. Each team comprised four athletes, who took turns completing a 300 meter swim, a 6.7 kilometer cycle and a 2.1 km run.
Japan led the race from the beginning amid Palembang’s high temperatures. The team’s first athlete, Yuka Sato, fell behind to the second position in the cycling race. However, the 26-year-old athlete reclaimed the first position in the running leg and finished in 22.36 minutes.
The second athlete, Jumpei Furuya, fell behind in the swimming race, in which he finished third. However, the men’s individual triathlon gold medalist caught up in the cycling leg and finished first in 21.23 minutes.
Japan continued to widen its gap with the other team with its third athlete, Yuko Takahashi, who maintained the first position in swimming, cycling and running. Takahashi finished first in 23.36 minutes.
The first three athletes of Japan recorded a total time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 35 seconds, leaving the other teams far behind. The second fastest team, South Korea, lagged two minutes behind Japan.
Japan team captain Yuichi Hosoda was the team’s fourth athlete. When he reached the finish line, Japan chalked up a total time of 1 hour, 30 minutes and 39 seconds, far ahead of the runner-up team, which finished 2 minutes and 12 seconds later.
“I didn’t need to work too hard. My teammates before me performed greatly. The time gap of more than two minutes was just too difficult for the other teams to overcome,” Hosoda said after the game.
Furuya said he had actually felt really tired as he had competed in the men’s triathlon just the day before. However, he said that his mental strength overwhelmed his physical fatigue, as competing for his country in this year’s Asian Games was a source of personal pride.
“I was of course tired from the competition [on Saturday], but I tried to defeat that tiredness in order to win today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indonesia finished ninth out of 13 competing teams, with a total time of 1 hour, 44 minutes and 1 second, 13 minutes and 22 second after Japan.
Reporter: Febrianto Budi Anggoro
Editor: Unggul Tri Ratomo
AG Media and PR in cooperation with The Jakarta Post