Rimini, Italy (September 27, 2008) - Olympic silver medallist Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal successfully defended her ITU Duathlon World Championship today in Italy. It was a commanding victory for Fernandes on a day marred by controversy in the men's race. Belgian Rob Woestenborghs was first across the line but after his own teammate lodged a protest, Woestenborghs was later disqualified by race officials thereby giving the world championship title to Paul Amey of Great Britain.
Fernandes opened the race with the fastest 10-kilometer run among the women, taking a 44-second lead heading out onto the 40-kilometer bike course. One of the most powerful cyclists in the sport, the defending champion extended her lead with the fastest bike split. Glasgow's Catriona Morrison cut the deficit to put herself in medal contention but no one challenged Fernandes who coasted to victory and won by more than 90 seconds.
"Today I could do a good run and a good bike, it was a surprise for me but I think it was a good way to finish the season so I'm happy," said Fernandes. Since taking silver at the Beijing Olympic Games, Fernandes won her 9th European title with the under23 championship and now her second Duathlon world title.
Morrison, who only started her season last month due to knee surgery in April, adds to her long distance world championship won in August with today's silver. Beijing Olympian Ana Burgos of Spain took the bronze.
2008 Rimini ITU Duathlon World Championships, Italy
10km run, 40km bike, 5k run
Final Results - Elite Women
Gold - Vanessa Fernandes (POR) 02:00:51 click here for interview click here for profile
Silver - Catriona Morrison (GBR) 02:02:29 click here for interview
Bronze - Ana Burgos (ESP) 02:04:27
4 - Alexandra Louison (FRA) 02:04:51
5 - Laura Giordano (ITA) 02:05:09
6 - Radka Vodickova (CZE) 02:05:16
7 - Ewa Dederko (POL) 02:05:35
8 - Eva Janssen (NED) 02:05:42
9 - Ruth Van der Meijden (NED) 02:05:52
10 - Beatriz Jimenez Tome (ESP) 02:05:59Click here for full field results