Nina Eim seals brilliant season with Rome World Cup gold

07 October, 2023 | español

Nina Eim seals brilliant season with Rome World Cup gold

There was a lot to live up to in the Italian capital on Saturday morning as the athletes took to the edge of the Lago dell’EUR and Rome hosted its first ever World Cup. Germany’s Nina Eim went in as race number one and in rich form, and saw out an impressive first World Cup victory to build towards her Paris 2024 campaign.

The swim strung out quickly as the sun made sighting tricky, Eim almost a minute back at the end of the 750m, but as the bike packs came together and closed in on the leaders on the final lap, she went through the gears brilliantly to chase down Jolien Vermeylen.

Quickly joined by teammate Marlene Gomez-Goggel and Switzerland’s Cathia Schar before pulling clear, it was Eim with gold, her teammate and the young Swiss talent closing out silver and bronze in Italy.

“I was a bit disappointed with my swim but we made up some ground on the bike and on the last lap it was down to just a little gap,” said a thrilled Eim. “When I hit the front I was confident of winning, my last 500m is my strength, but Marlene didn’t make it easy! It was a perfect season for me other than the injury, but the results I’m pretty happy with and it’s even nicer to go into the off season with the win and be motivated for next year.”

Fearless Vermeylen sets the tone

As many of the top-ranked athletes headed to the left of the pontoon ahead of the 750m swim, Maya Kingma, Natalie Van Coevorden and Audrey Merle took to the right, but it was soon the familiar sight of home favourite Bianca Seregni slicing through the clear water out ahead.

For a short swim, it was soon a hugely spread field as they hit the exit for the long run into transition, sighting into the bright morning sun hampering some including Eim, but not Jolien Vermeylen who was right on Seregni’s feet.

And the Belgian flew up the long hill and straight into transition to take her bike first followed by Seregni, Mathilde Gautier (FRA), Olivia Mathias (GBR) and Alice Betto (ITA).

Those five already had a huge advantage over the likes of Ana Godoy Contreras 25 seconds back and then a group including Therese Feursinger, Van Coevorden and Kingma another ten seconds adrift, Eim, Rachel Klamer, and Vicky Holland already 50 seconds back.

Five becomes three as Italian hopes hit skids

After lap one the Italian duo’s efforts to hold onto the leaders were further hampered as Betto came off at the dead turn, she and Seregni continuing but now being hunted by the Jessica Fullagar-led chase pack.

That pack was closing the gap, too, and Eim was driving on the chasers and they merged in pursuit of the front three of Vermeylen, Gautier and Mathias with two laps to go.

25 seconds was the gap at the bell, Lotte Miller, Schar and Van Coevorden all well set in that group and they could really pull up on the last 4km lap, to be just 10 seconds back heading into T2.

Flying Germans hit the front

Vermeylen was away on lap one and wasting no time in setting a pace nobody around her could match, but Eim, Schar and Merle were also flying, so when the Belgian began to tire, the distance was eagerly hoovered up.

Eim eventually hit the front, Gomez-Goggel and Schar off her shoulder, but the final 500m belonged to Eim and she powered to the line, Goggel the silver and Schar bronze as Vermeylen hung on for fourth ahead of Noelia Juan (ESP).

Full results available here.

“I was in the very left side of the pack in the swim and just saw a lot of chaos out there and a gap opening up so I closed the gap alone to hit the main pack and then really put an effort in on the bike to make up the gap,” said Gomez-Goggel. “It’s so nice to finish strong, the race that mattered this year weren’t that good so I wanted to prove myself i’m in good shape and looking forward to the off season. Being on the podium a couple of times this year has been a huge step and let’s see what happens next year.”

“I just missed out in Pontevedra and that was really frustrating so to do that on the last big race of the season for me was great,” said a smiling Schar. “It wasn’t an easy bike, the group was big and it was technical but I had fun and we all took turns, Lotte Miller did a nice job too, then on the run just tried to hang onto Nina and nice to have her pacing the run. I knew I had to try and pass Jolien and hang on to Nina and Marlene.”


nina eim marlene gomez-goggel rome world cup cathia schar