Medals had already been awarded, but Simon Henslett did not care. At the World U-23 Championships in Edmonton, the triathlon from Stingaden finally gave it all. Then he analyzed his appearance – and came to a clear conclusion.
Edmonton – The medals were already taken, but Simon Henselet didn’t care. On the blue carpet, which was laid out for the last few meters towards the finish line, he showed an angry final enemy and thus drove away many competitors. “Running so fast to the finish gives me a lot of motivation to pack it all in,” said the racing athlete from Steingaden, explaining his latest campaign, in which he finished 10th in the U-23 World Championship.
The result itself did not cause any cheers for Simon Hensleit, but it guaranteed a high degree of satisfaction. “To land in the top 10 at this level definitely makes me proud,” Hinslet said after his performance in Edmonton, Canada. For the first time he completed an Olympic distance in an official competition. He completed a 1500m swim, 40km cycling and 10km run in 1:49:48 hours. “It wasn’t enough in the swimming, and I lacked on the bike something in particular that I might be able to fill in the gap on my own,” he analyzed the race course. “But I am very satisfied with the final round.”
Simon Henseleit shows high mileage
When Henseleit started in Discipline III, it was clear that the podium was not going to be a thing. After about 1:10 minutes from the top positions, he reached the transition area in a smaller chase group. “I motivated myself with the idea that it must have been tough on the bike for the athletes up front as well,” says the guy from Steingaden. After about five kilometers, “I could see the first athletes from the front group.” Together with Hungarian Zsombor Devay and Japanese Kyotaro Yoshikawa, he now rotates in administrative work. “It was great to see how much of the gliding air stream you brought me, and I was able to dramatically lower my breathing and focus fully on my running stride,” Henslett said. After 6.5 kilometers, the man from Stingaden and his companions outperformed an athlete from the previous first group.
When the last lap started, the lead over New Zealander Dylan McCullough, who was 10 at the time, was still 15 seconds. Now it was about narrowing the gap – and at the same time getting rid of competitors. On the extra course, Henslett said, “I was relatively sure I was the strongest in our little duel.” About a kilometer before the finish line, “I decided to go all out.” By accelerating his pace, he closed the gap to the New Zealander. In the last 200 meters with two 90-degree bends, he made the perfect top ten.
In order to land forward, Simon Henseleit had to make it to the first bike group. He already knew it would be difficult. Strong swimmers have been registered in the World Cup. There were two 750m courses complete with a short vacation on the beach. In the end, that turned out to be the point. “When I jumped back into the water, the lactate shot into my arm and I had to take a few meters to find my rhythm again,” Henseleit says. From five seconds he was 22 seconds behind by the end of the swim.
Simon Henseleit on the bike in the first chase group
However, Henseleit was confident that he would be able to bridge the distance forward quickly on the bike. After the longest climb on the first six laps, he saw that he had only four other athletes with him in pursuit of the eleven-man leading group, which worked so well together that seconds were wasted again and again in the long, strait descent. After 20 kilometers, half the bike distance, it was clear that the connection would not work. After that, the group no longer leads to the limit. “It was the first time I was able to relax and eat something,” Henslett said. After getting the gels, the German felt better again and was confident that he would “survive” in the last 10 km race.
For Simon Henselet, this was his second start at the World Championships. In 2019 he participated in the World Junior Championships in Lausanne. There he took 10th place in a short-distance tactical race (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km sprint). Now revamped in the top ten men’s area, Henslett said, “I would gladly take it for the day.”
Csongor Lehmann won the world title in Edmonton in 1:46:47 hours. The Hungarian had already won the European Cup in Tissaujvaros and Caorle this year. Germany’s reigning short-distance champion Tim Hellwig (1:46:51) took the silver. Bronze went to Matthew Hauser (1:46:55) of Australia. In the women’s under-23 category, Annika Koch (2:00:10) of Hessen won the bronze.
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