BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Sixteen-year-old Drew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed seventh in the men’s triathlon event Monday at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. Shellenberger’s time of 54 minutes, 47 seconds on the 750-meter swim, 19.4-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course was less than 90 seconds off the pace of the men’s winner, Dylan McCullough of New Zealand.
Thirty-two athletes, each representing a different country, competed Monday at Green Park in Bosques de Palermo. Shellenberger was third out of the swim, just a step behind Italy’s Alessio Crociani and 20 seconds back from swim leader McCullough. While McCullough and Crociani went for a breakaway on the bike, Shellenberger settled into a 10-strong chase pack. The leading two kept hammering though, building about a minute on the rest of the field by the second transition.
On the run, Portugal’s Alexandre Montez pulled away from the chase pack and started to reel in the leaders. He executed a race-leading 15:33 5k that was enough to pass Crociani for the silver medal. McCullough broke the tape with a total time of 53:27, Montez came through in 53:39, and Crociani rounded out the podium in 53:45. Shellenberger’s 5k time of 16:37 was top-10 in the field, and was enough to get him across the line seventh in 54:47.
"It's a surreal experience," Shellenberger said. "I didn't know what to expect coming in, but once you put on those stars and stripes, it's a whole new ball game. I've done hundreds of races, and none of them have ever been anything like this because of the atmosphere and how tough the competitors are. It's a totally different ball game being up against the best in the world, and I'm just really happy to be a part of it and happy to come home with a top-10."
The women’s race was held Sunday in Buenos Aires. South Africa’s Amber Schlebusch was the champion in 58:45, followed by Denmark’s Sif Bendix Madsen in 58:56 and Switzerland’s Anja Weber in 59:36. Sixteen-year-old Parker Albright (Roanoke, Va.) was the U.S. representative, but pulled out of the race after difficulties during the swim.
Shellenberger and Albright each have a chance to be selected for the final triathlon event of the Youth Olympic Games, the mixed relay — set for Thursday at 10 a.m. ET (11 a.m. local time). Four-person teams, including two men and two women, will be assembled by continent (Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and America, comprised of North and South America). Multiple teams from each continent may compete. Mixed relay team rosters will be announced after the athlete briefing on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
In the relay format, each athlete completes a super-sprint 300m swim, 8k bike and 1.5k run before handing off to the next teammate, with the fastest combined time winning the race.
The Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 is a 12-day event featuring 4,000 competitors from around the world. Thirty-two sports will be contested, and for the first time, equal numbers of men and women will participate. For more information about the Youth Olympic Games, visit buenosaires2018.com.
Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 — Triathlon
750m swim, 19.4k bike, 5k run
Men — Complete Results
1. Dylan McCullough (NZL), 53:27
2. Alexandre Montez (POR), 53:39
3. Alessio Crociani (ITA), 53:45
7. Drew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, Ind.), 54:47
Women — Complete Results
1. Amber Schlebusch (RSA), 58:45
2. Sif Bendix Madsen (DEN), 58:56
3. Anja Webe (SUI), 59:36
Parker Albright (Roanoke, Va.), DNF
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).