June 9, 2008 / 3:00 AM / 9 years ago

Spain's Gomez, Britain's Tucker net world titles

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Spain’s Javier Gomez and Great Britain’s Helen Tucker braved cool and damp weather to win the elite men’s and women’s world triathlon titles on Sunday.

<p>Javier Gomez of Spain reacts after winning the Elite men's Triathlon World Championships in Vancouver, British Columbia June 8, 2008. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford</p>

Gomez broke away on the run to win the men’s race in one hour, 49 minutes and 48 seconds, finishing 24 seconds ahead of Athens Olympics silver medalist Bevan Docherty of New Zealand. Reto Hug of Switzerland was third.

The triathletes had to contend with unseasonably cool and damp weather in Vancouver on Canada’s Pacific coast. The water for the swim was about 11 Celsius.

Tucker, a surprise winner, took the women’s race in two hours, one minute and 37 seconds, edging out the United States’ Sarah Haskins by just 3.7 seconds. Samantha Warriner of New Zealand was third.

Tucker and Haskins pulled away from the pack on the 40km bicycle stage and never looked back, racing neck and neck throughout the 10km run with Tucker finally sprinting ahead at the end.

“I can’t believe we held on,” Tucker said.

Athens Olympic gold medalist Kate Allen, who is trying to recover from an injury, finished eighth, while last year’s champion Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal was 10th.

Reporting by Allan Dowd; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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