UIPM 2017 World Biathle-Triathle Championships hailed as a triumph in Viveiro (ESP)
- South Africa finish with incredible 42 gold medals across all age groups
- Strong performances from Great Britain, France, Egypt and host nation Spain
- Czech Republic end on a high with individual Biathle titles for Pribylova and Svoboda
The UIPM 2017 World Biathle-Triathle Championships in Viveiro (ESP) has been hailed as a triumph for UIPM development sports as more than 500 athletes from 30 countries took part in thrilling competitions across four days.
Athletes ranging in age from 7 to 76 competed for medals in the Galicia beach resort across individual, team and Mixed Relay categories in both Biathle (Run/Swim/Run) and Triathle (Shoot/Swim/Run).
South Africa’s all-conquering team won an exceptional 42 gold medals across the four days, while there were strong performances from other nations including Great Britain, France, Egypt and host nation Spain.
The team from Russia also proved to be a force to reckon with.
The Czech Republic saved their best for last as Eliska Pribylova and Tomas Svoboda won the Senior Individual Biathle titles.
The Czechs had been forced to watch from the lower steps on the podium while most of the glory went to athletes from France and South Africa on the first three days.
However, they seized the day when it came to the individual Biathle, where Pribylova (CZE) held off the challenge of silver medallist Nicola Roder (GBR) and bronze medallist Akroune Camilia (FRA).
Tomas Svoboda (CZE) also emerged triumphant in a high-quality field that included his own twin brother – the 2012 Olympic Modern Pentathlon champion David Svoboda (CZE).
Tomas won gold ahead of reigning champion Alexandre Henrard (FRA), who was forced to accept individual silver for the second successive day after winning both Biathle and Triathle titles in 2015 and 2016, and bronze medallist Ricardo Rego (POR). David Svoboda (CZE) finished 4th.
At the end of a memorable competition in Viveiro, one athlete and one country are deserving of a special mention.
South Africa’s all-conquering team managed to win 42 golds, including 16 on Day 4, confirming their emergence as a powerful force in UIPM development sports in recent years.
And there was a poignant moment of recognition on Day 4 for Bob Garden (RSA), aged 76, who was the oldest competitor taking part. He was given a special presentation from Shiny Fang, UIPM Secretary General.
Viacheslav Malishev, UIPM Executive Board Member for Development, said: “I want to congratulate the athletes who came from five continents and 21 countries to take part in these wonderful championships.
“They all had a great experience in this unique place here in Galicia, the weather was great and they enjoyed competing with each other. The local organisers together with the UIPM organisers did a fantastic job.”
In the Junior (Under 23) classification there was success for Kazakhstan, as Ayan Beisenbayev won the individual race and led his country to team gold, while host nation Spain picked up another title thanks to Paula Herrero Aguirre.
In other categories on the final day there were gold medals for Egypt, Great Britain, France and Portugal and more for Kazakhstan and Spain, while other countries such as India made the podium, making the UIPM 2017 Biathle-Triathle Championships a truly global success story.
Learn more about Triathle and Biathle and check out the results of all this weekend's action on the UIPM website. Picture galleries can be viewed in the media section. For video highlights visit the UIPM Facebook page.
The next major event on the 2017 calendar is the 3rd UIPM Laser-Run World Championships, taking place in Cape Town (RSA) from October 13-15