Australia’s Courtney Atkinson has taken victory in the men’s elite category of the prestigious Challenger World London Triathlon, crossing the finish line in 1h 49m 3s.
It was an unexpected win for the current Australian champion, who said it was a "very surprising day in London – I had no idea whether I would be even able to run a good 10km off the bike, let alone be racing to win".
Now in its 14th year, the London Triathlon has grown into the biggest such event in the world, with approximately 13,000 participants and over 55,000 spectators lining the course in 2010. Celebrities and sport personalities were among those competing, including current F1 champion Jenson Button, in the Olympic Age Group, who finished the course in 2h 14m 15s, some seven minutes slower than last year, though the McLaren star admitted this was down to illness affecting his last-minute preparations.
"I wasn't feeling very well at the start of the week, which is why I have come in a bit slower than last time round," commented Button, who’d been suffering from tonsillitis. "I really didn't want to miss out on the weekend, though, as I had such a fantastic time here last year, so I just decided to battle through it."
This weekend, Courtney Atkinson, currently ranked ninth in the world, will compete in the ITU World Championship Triathlon in Kitzbühel, Austria – the second last event of the series.