2007 Review: Continental Champs
2007 Geelong OCA Triathlon Oceania Championships, Australia – March 4, 2007
The 2007 Continental Championships began in Australia with the Oceania Championships. Australia capitalized on the home course advantage, powering to gold-silver finishes in both the women’s and men’s events. Erin Densham kicked off her breakout year with gold while Annabel Luxford, the 2005 overall World Cup series champion rebounded from injury in 2006 to take the silver. Just six seconds back was Debbie Tanner of New Zealand, undoubtedly one of the strongest runners in the world.
In a highly competitive men’s field, just six seconds separated gold, silver and bronze. At the finish line, it was the Commonwealth Games gold medalist Brad Kahlefeldt surging for the gold. Courtney Atkinson took the bronze, edging out Olympic silver medalist Bevan Docherty by two seconds. The 2008 Oceania Championships are scheduled for Wellington, New Zealand on March 9.
1 Densham, Erin (AUS) 02:03:55
2 Luxford, Annabel (AUS) 02:04:20
3 Tanner, Debbie (NZL) 02:04:26
1 Kahlefeldt, Brad (AUS) 01:52:19
2 Atkinson, Courtney (AUS) 01:52:23
3 Docherty, Bevan (NZL) 01:52:25
2007 Le Coco Beach ATU Triathlon African Championship, Mauritius – March 31, 2007
South African athletes dominated the African Championships in Mauritius, sweeping the women’s podium and taking gold and bronze in the men’s event. Kate Roberts successfully defended her title with a convincing win that included the fastest run split of the day amongst the women. Compatriot Mari Rabie finished second for the silver while newcomer Claire Kinsley rounded out the podium.
In the men’s field, pre-race favourites Hendrik De Villiers and David Hauss battled each other from the opening horn. During the run, De Villiers began to put some distance between him and Hauss but was slowed down by several cramps in the final lap. He managed to break the tape first and finish five seconds ahead of Hauss to be crowned 2007 African champion. Erhard Wolfaardt had the fastest run of the day which got him on the podium for the bronze medal. The 2008 African Championships are scheduled for Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia on March 8-9.
1 Roberts, Kate (RSA) 02:04:50
2 Rabie, Mari (RSA) 02:06:39
3 Kinsley, Claire (RSA) 02:09:23
1 De Villiers, Hendrik (RSA) 01:46:53
2 Hauss, David (FRA) 01:46:58
3 Wolfaardt, Erhard (RSA) 01:48:39
2007 Tongyeong ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships, South Korea – June 1, 2007
One of the deepest and most competitive Asian Championships took place in Tongyeong, South Korea. But no country was able to break the Japanese sweep of the women’s event. Akiko Sekine, an Olympian from 2004 and bronze medalist from the Asian Games, won her first Asian Championship by an eight-second margin over teammate Ai Ueda.
Daniil Sapunov scored a big victory not only for himself but for all of Kazakh triathlon by winning the men’s race. Like Sekine, Sapunov was a 2004 Olympian and an Asian Games bronze medalist. He adds this year’s gold to the silver medal he won at last year’s Asian Championships. Defending champion Hirokatsu Tayama settled for the silver while Ivan Morozov of Uzbekistan took the bronze. The 2008 Asian Championships are scheduled for Guanzhou, China on April 19.
1 Sekine, Akiko (JPN) 02:04:20
2 Ueda, Ai (JPN) 02:04:28
3 Ide, Juri (JPN) 02:04:32
1 Sapunov, Daniil (KAZ) 01:52:58
2 Tayama, Hirokatsu (JPN) 01:53:17
3 Morozov, Ivan (UZB) 01:53:19
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2007 Copenhagen ETU Triathlon European Championships, Denmark – June 29, 2007
The European Championships consistently produce some of the most competitive fields of the entire season and this year was no exception. Three-time defending champion Vanessa Fernandes was looking to maintain her stranglehold on the top spot and with another superior performance, the Portuguese sensation did just that, winning gold for the fourth straight year. Olympic champion Kate Allen used a strong run for the silver, just three seconds ahead of former Junior World Champion Nicola Spirig.
An ultra-competitive men’s field featured at least a dozen serious contenders. Two-time defending champion Frederic Belaubre was just coming back after being sidelined for much of the year with an injury. But the man to watch was Javier Gomez, the 2006 overall World Cup series champion who was gunning for his first European crown. With a blazing 30:03 run, Gomez overcame a strong challenge from home favourite Rasmus Henning and a powerful German team that placed three in the top five, to become the new European Champion. The 2008 European Championships are scheduled for Lisbon, Portugal on May 10-11.
1 Fernandes, Vanessa (POR) 02:02:36
2 Allen, Kate (AUT) 02:03:21
3 Spirig, Nicola (SUI) 02:03:24
1 Gomez, Javier (ESP) 01:51:58
2 Frodeno, Jan (GER) 01:52:15
3 Unger, Daniel (GER) 01:52:30
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2007 Rio de Janeiro PATCO Pan American Championships, Brazil – July 15, 2007
One of the biggest events on the entire 2007 sports calendar was the 15th Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, which doubled as the ITU’s Pan American continental championship. The United States reigned in the women’s event with a gold-silver sweep lead by Julie Ertel (formerly Swail), the newly crowned U.S. National Champion. Finishing just 22 seconds behind was her teammate Sarah Haskins, whose silver medal was also part of her 2007 breakthrough year. Coming from behind and running herself on the podium for bronze was Lauren Groves, the highest ranked Canadian in 2006.
The U.S. swept the triathlon competition with Andy Potts coming from behind to capture Pan American gold. The American Olympian from 2004 finished just seven seconds ahead of Canadian Brent McMahon who hung on for the silver, continuing the streak of a Canadian medal at every Pan American Games triathlon since its induction in 1995. Juraci Moreira thrilled the home crowds with a bronze medal. The 2008 Pan American Championships are scheduled for Mazatlan, Mexico on April 19.
1 Ertel (Swail), Julie (USA) 01:57:23
2 Haskins, Sarah (USA) 01:57:45
3 Groves, Lauren (CAN) 01:59:50
1 Potts, Andy (USA) 01:52:31
2 McMahon, Brent (CAN) 01:52:38
3 Moreira, Juraci (BRA) 01:52:54