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Germany's Frodeno lifts Olympic men's triathlon title
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14:42, August 19, 2008

Frodeno of Germany competes in the run contest of Men's Final of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games triathlon event in Beijing, China, Aug. 19, 2008. Jan Frodeno of Germany won the gold medal with a time of one hour 48 minutes and 53.28 seconds. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

Unheralded German Jan Frodeno out-sprinted three big names in the four-man leading pact to win the men's triathlon title here Tuesday at the Beijing Olympics.

Frodeno staged a last-gasp sprint, overtaking Simon Whitfield of Canada, pre-race favorites Francisco Javier Gomez of Spain and Bevan Docherty of New Zealand in a classic finish at the triathlon venue, crossing the finish line in 1 hour 48 minutes and 53 seconds.

"This was the race of my life. I had the tunnel vision that I've always wished for," said the 27-year-old German.

"At kilometre five, I knew this would be a really big day for me. When there were three of us at the end, I knew the medal was safe, but I tried to get the gold.

"I kept thinking that this was the moment I've been dreaming of. I could hear the other guys breathing, and I sprinted and now I'm the Olympic winner."

Whitfield, who won the inaugural Olympic triathlon gold at Sydney 2000, was second five seconds behind, while Docherty, the silver medalist in Athens, came third 12 seconds adrift.

"I'm thrilled. Everything's OK. I tried to stay around until the finish, I thought I would be late but I made it. I told myself to fight back and fight back," said Whitfield as he talked the final sprint.

"I got to see the flag at least."

Both Whitfield and Docherty have managed to finish on Olympic podium twice.

Gomez was heavily favored to win here before the race, but just faded away in the sprint and came fourth.

Gomez has won every major titles in the sport over the last two years, including this year's world championships and the test event staged over the Olympic course last year.

It's Luxemburg's Dirk Bockel and Belgium's Axel Zeebroek who led the cycling race and a batch of 16 followed up including the medallists until a batch of six came up to the front.

After lap two, the Spanish duo Gomez and Ivan Rana and the three medallists came up to streamline the lead until the final sprint took place.

Frodeno staged a powerful sprint to finish top in the race.

"I knew this race was going to be hard. When you've prepared for that, you know you can do the last 500 metres. You can rest later," said Frodeno.

"It was also an advantage for me that I was not one of the favorites. I lost so many sprints this year, it teaches you to pace yourself.

"I've put so much preparation into running in this competition. I've practiced running hilly courses up and down," added Frodeno.


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2 USA 23 24 26 73
3 Great Britain 13 7 8 28
4 Australia 11 10 12 33
5 Germany 10 7 7 24
6 Russia 8 13 15 36
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