Gomez wins in Rio amid concern over roads

Sun Aug 2, 2015 3:15pm EDT
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By Jeb Blount

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Javier Gomez guaranteed Spain a place in next year's Olympic triathlon by winning the ITU Olympic Qualification Event in Rio on Sunday as uneven road conditions caused problems for the athletes.

Gomez finished in one hour 48 minutes and 26 seconds, 14 seconds ahead of France's Vincent Luis with South African Richard Murray third, 35 seconds further back.

Murray said potholes and uneven manhole covers on part of the newly-asphalted course caused a few hair-raising moments.

"The course was very good but I think there are a few potholes that are quite dangerous," Murray told Reuters.

"There are badly-placed manhole covers. Some of them were four to five centimeters deep and when you are going 50 or 60km an hour over them it is quite scary.

"But other than that the course was amazing. I am happy (to have qualified)."

Those complaints came after a week of worries over the quality of water off the famous Copacabana beach.

The Atlantic is where triathlon, open water swimming and sailing events will take place and independent studies released have shown unacceptable levels of disease-causing viruses.   Continued...

Javier Gomez Noya of Spain celebrates after winning the men's triathlon at the ITU World Olympic Qualification event on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes