We may be only one week in to the extended race to crown the 2022 World Triathlon Champions, but the Breakthrough Season is already living up to its name, with the top five male and female athletes in the Maurice Lacroix Rankings currently averaging just 25 years old.
For the men, Tim Hellwig (22), Paul Georgenthum (21) and Leo Bergere (25) were the podium powerhouses at WTCS Hamburg. It was an almighty finish for the 22-year-old Hellwig, spurred on by the German crowd just a year after his Series debut here in Germany and mere weeks on from his U23 World Championship silver in Edmonton.
For France’s Georgenthum, silver on his own Series debut was an incredible achievement at the age of 21, let alone missing the gold by only a whisker and with the (relatively) greater experience of teammate Bergere breathing down his neck on the blue carpet.
In the women’s race, Laura Lindemann may still only be 25, but she already has a wealth of experience at the top level and was surely due a first Series gold. The former Junior and U23 World Champion has been knocking on the door for some time and victory at the start of the new Olympic cycle couldn’t have come at a better time as she sets her sights on something special at Paris 2024.
Likewise the silver for New Zealand’s Nicole Van Der Kaay, a key part of the Kiwis’ Mixed Relay successes in recent years and now looking ready to follow in the footsteps of the great Andrea Hewitt after registering her first Series podium following a string of fine performances in 2021.
“I’ve strived for an achievement like this for a long time so I’m super stoked to finally reach this level,” reflected Van Der Kaay. “I first started triathlon when Hamish (Carter) and Bevan (Docherty) were dominating the scene, they inspired me to reach the highest level in the world! It’s great to experience this at the start of the cycle, to build confidence and ambition leading into a new season and new Olympic cycle.
“I’ve been able to perform really well in the mixed team relay, but this isn’t always seen on paper. To break through with an individual podium feels really good, it’s the level I want to be at!”
You can watch back all the action from Hamburg on demand on TriathlonLive.tv.