Yee and Potter win Abu Dhabi World Triathlon Championship events

British triathletes win gold in the season-opening World Championship Series at Yas Marina Circuit

Alex Yee, from Great Britain, celebrates on the podium after winning the elite men's race of the season-opening World Triathlon Championship series at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Alex Yee and Beth Potter completed a double for Britain by the men's and women's events in the season-opening World Triathlon Championship Series at Yas Marina Circuit on Friday.

Yee broke clear in the last stages of the 5-kilometre run after closely contested swim and bike rounds to win the men’s race in a time of 52 minutes, 53 seconds.

Vasco Vilaca of Portugal was six seconds behind in second, and the Brazilian Manoel Messias was a further 13 seconds down in third. The world champion, Leo Bergere, (53:15) of France finished in sixth.

“I just wanted to see how the last four weeks [training] in Australia had gone and see the fruits of our labour, and I guess it worked out quite well,” Yee, the silver medallist at the Tokyo Olympics said.

“I think I swam pretty solid, not amazing, but pretty good. I’ll take it and hopefully build on it.”

Potter claimed her maiden gold in the world championship series and led a one-two finish for Britain in the women’s race.

She raced prominently in the lead group in the cycling leg and drew clear on her own in the 5km running stage to cross the finishing line in 57:56.

Compatriot Sophie Caldwell (58:14) and the American Taylor Spivey (58:27) stayed on strongly behind her to take second and third respectively.

“It’s fantastic to win,” Potter said. “I worked hard on the swim to stay in contention and then try and get a bit of a gap for the rest of the race. The bike was good for me and I felt I was technically good, although it was hard.

“The hot weather made the race more challenging but given it’s only a sprint race; I kept going until the end. This will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season and I will keep training hard when I go back to Leeds.”


Elite women:

1. Beth Potter (GBR) 57min 56sec

2. Sophie Caldwell (GBR) 58:14

3. Taylor Spivey (USA) 58:27

Elite men:

1. Alex Yee (GBR) 52:53

2. Vasco Vilaca (POR) 52:59

3. Manoel Messias (BRA) 53:06

Updated: March 04, 2023, 4:11 AM