Russell races in his first World Championships

Russell White was in action on the top stage recently. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Russell White was in action on the top stage recently. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
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The world was watching as Alistair Brownlee helped his brother Jonathan across the line in the World Championships.

Coming up behind them was Banbridge man Russell White, who was racing his way to 36th spot in his first ever appearance in the season’s grand finale.

It was the second part of a big double-header, in which Russell secured two impressive finishes.

EDMONTON

The first race was two weeks ago in Edmonton, Canada, which was the penultimate race of the World triathlon Series and was raced over the shorter sprint distance format which consisted of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

Edmonton being the most northerly City in Canada, the weather can often be unpredictable in September and on race day the athletes were treated to bitter temperatures of 8°C, which seemed even colder when emerging from the swim and racing around a city in a trisuit.

Russell exited the water in seventh place and continued to hold a very strong position throughout the race.

Over the course of the 20km cycle, all the main contenders came together, leaving positions to be decided over the fast and tactical 5km run with very little time gaps between the athletes.

Russell has continued to show that his running is improving as he secured an impressive 14th place, only one second away from 12th, demonstrating that margins were very tight at the front of the this race.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

With another strong performance showing he can contend at the highest level, Russell earned a start in his first ever senior World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico only last weekend.

This being the grand final of the World series, the top 70 men in the series toe the line with temperatures hitting 30°C combined with the notorious Mexican humidity - it could only provide interesting racing.

Russell started his day off well with a strong swim but with a slight disadvantage of a strong current, his efforts fell agonizingly short of making an eight man breakaway that formed going onto the bike and which stayed away for the remainder of the race.

Nevertheless, there was still everything to play for and ending the day with a strong run in conditions that were far from ideal for the Northern Irish man, Russell finished a fantastic 36th in his first ever Senior Elite World Championships which only proves there are even bigger things to come from this talented young athlete.

Finishing this race alone was an achievement as many will have seen the crazy scenes when Alistair Brownlee had to help his younger brother Jonathan Brownlee across the line as he suffered from severe heat exhaustion, an iconic moment that will go down in triathlon history.