Nener and Takahashi dust field to defend Asia Triathlon Champs golds

22 April, 2024 | español

Nener and Takahashi dust field to defend Asia Triathlon Champs golds

On home soil in Hatsukaichi, Japan, Kenji Nener (JPN) and Yuko Takahashi (JPN) were in exemplary form as they defended their Asia Triathlon Championships crowns on Saturday. In a race defined by moves and counter-moves throughout the swim and bike, Nener put his rivals to the sword on the run. Meanwhile, Takahashi was simply too strong for the rest as she similarly converted a breakaway into a commanding victory. You can watch back all the action from Hatsukaichi on TriathlonLive.

Nener on top again
After winning a bronze medal at the Hong Kong World Cup, Nener arrived as the man to beat in Hatsukaichi having also thundered to a dominant solo victory at the Asian Games in 2023. Now he had to manage expectations of an equally supreme display.

Fortunately, Nener was in no mood to disappoint.

In the swim, he had Takumi Hojo (JPN) for company and the pair developed an early lead. Once onto the bike, the counter-attack came from Ren Sato (JPN) and Robin Elg (HKG) and a front pack of four eventually settled together. Over the 40km, though, the leaders had to keep a watchful eye on one another for risk of one attempting a sly break.

Further behind, Junjie Fan (CHN) led the chasers. The newly-crowned Asian champion over the sprint distance had his work cut out in catching the Nener-led train at the front but he stuck manfully to his task.

The cat-and-mouse of the swim and bike soon gave way to a dominant showing by Nener on the run. Clocking the fastest 10km of the day, the Japanese athlete surged to a clear victory. Hojo held on for 2nd place and matched his silver medal from the recent Asia Championships over the sprint distance. Fan then cruised to the bronze medal.

Takahashi breaks Chinese hearts
Meiyi Lu (CHN), the Asian champion over the sprint distance, arrived in Japan hoping to add the standard distance continental title to her collection. However she found herself up against an inspired Takahashi.

The returning champion was in no mood to hang about in the swim and struck ahead into an early lead. Following Takahashi out of the water was Yifan Yang (CHN). The lead pair had an advantage of around half a minute and sought to escape the attention of the rest of the field.

A little further back, Xinyu Lin (CHN) found herself in the chase pack. Sensing the gold medal was escaping her clutches, Lin jumped away from her group and set after the leaders. After a relentless effort, she would eventually ride up to Takahasi and Yang. 

At the Asian Games in 2023, Lin and Yang had taken the silver and bronze medals behind Takahashi. They now found themselves perfectly positioned to exact revenge. However, once onto the run, their Japanese rival was simply too strong.

Matching Nener’s feat in the men’s race, Takahashi logged the fastest run split of the year on her way to victory. Lin was the next to cross the line in 2nd place while Yang rounded out the podium in 3rd.

For both Nener and Takahashi, another home race will be up next in the form of WTCS Yokohama. Given how they dominated the Asia Championships, they will doubtless keenly await the chance to test themselves against the best in the world.

You can find the full results here and follow the progress of Asia’s triathlon stars as the season unfolds across all World Triathlon channels.


asian championships yuko takahashi kenji nener

event website

2024 Asia Triathlon Championships Hatsukaichi
Results: 2024 Asia Triathlon Championships Hatsukaichi : Elite Men
1. Kenji Nener JPN 01:53:51
2. Takumi Hojo JPN 01:55:04
3. Junjie Fan CHN 01:56:26
4. Yunxiang Ma CHN 01:57:00
5. Aoba Yasumatsu JPN 01:57:09
Results: 2024 Asia Triathlon Championships Hatsukaichi : Elite Women
1. Yuko Takahashi JPN 02:05:56
2. Xinyu Lin CHN 02:06:26
3. Yifan Yang CHN 02:06:43
4. Hye Rim Jeong KOR 02:09:04
5. Yuka Sato JPN 02:09:34

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