LONDON — Phil Friedman overcame chilly water, a wet bike course and a case of road rash to match his best finish in the Sprint Age-Group World Triathlon Championships Friday in London.
Friedman, a 60-year-old Erie resident, placed third among 74 competitors in the 60-64 age division, tying his bronze-medal finish from 2011 in Beijing.
Meanwhile, Erie’s Jeff Blake took 12th place in a field of 58 competing in the 65-69 division.
Both athletes faced tough conditions as they completed a sprint course that included a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike ride and 5K run.
Friedman finished in a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes, 59 seconds, trailing only Great Britain’s Robert Novis (1:13.45) and Kevin Chesham (1:15.03).
“It was an extremely competitive race and the conditions were not good,” Friedman said in an e-mail exchange. “It poured and the bike course had a lot of steep turns. I actually fell on a turn and got some nice road rash.”
Friedman, who won the U.S. championship in his age division in August, posted the third-best swim time of 11:26 Friday despite 62-degree water. He lost some ground with a 38:28 time in the bike ride but finished with a strong 5K time of 19.27.
“I’m really happy to have medaled under these circumstances,” he said.
Friedman placed 501st overall among 1,078 competitors.
“Worlds are a pretty incredible experience,” he said, adding that the finish offered competitors a neat experience as they ran past the grandstands. “You meet people from around the world. I’ve made a lot of friends, especially people I compete with.”
Blake, 66, completed the course in 1:25:09, including a 15:12 in the swim, 39:18 in the bike and 22:14 in the run. He finished 830th overall.
The 65-69 division champion, Dieter Waller of Germany, finished in 1:17:18.