By Fergus Murray on 03/11/10 at 9:35 pm
Sydney, Australia will always occupy a special place in triathlon history after hosting the sport’s Olympic Games debut in 2000. The magical Olympic Games from ten years ago ushered in a new era for ITU as triathlon aligned itself with other high profiled sports on the grandest stage in sports. Subsequently, it was a special occasion when ITU returned to Sydney a decade later.
On April 11th of this year, a new group of triathlon stars assembled under famed Sydney Opera House ready to open the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. It was ITU’s first major event in Sydney the 2000 Olympic Games.
In the men’s field, two-time Olympic silver medallist Bevan Docherty of New Zealand came from behind during the 10-kilometre run and broke away in the final lap to seal his second career Series victory and the season opener for the second straight year.
“It was a real tough course today,” Docherty said in the finish area. “It was much harder than I expected, but I felt good heading into the final lap and was able to make a break. Winning in front of the Sydney Opera House is amazing.”
Russia’s Alexander Brukhankov finished six seconds behind Docherty, barely holding off France’s David Hauss, who finished third. Canadian Simon Whitfield, who blazed to Olympic gold ten years earlier, crossed the line in fifth place.
Of the 47 women that took to the waters of Farm Cove in world famous Sydney Harbour, only two—German Anja Dittmer and Japan’s Kiyomi Niwata—had raced in the Sydney Olympic Games ten years earlier. The titans of women’s triathlon today were just adolescents when the sport made its Olympic Games debut in 2000.
All eyes were on home favourite Emma Moffatt as she opened her 2010 season. But the reigning World Champion was coming off a broken shoulder the previous month. And while it healed in time for the race, it hindered her swim training.
At the halfway point of the run, a lead group of four women emerged. With less than 800 metres to go, Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile was the first to make a move, but New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt quickly responded and pulled the group back together. Unfazed, Riveros surged again as she made the final turn towards the finish. And this time she wouldn’t be caught. The Chilean powered ahead to score the biggest win of her career.
“I was a bit nervous heading into the final lap,” Riveros Diaz said. “I’m usually not very good at a sprint finish, but today it all worked out very well.”
Hewitt was one second behind Riveros Diaz in silver medal position while Moffatt took the bronze.
Sydney will again have the honour of opening the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in 2011 on April 9-10. Next year’s race will also include an Age-Group race as part of the exciting event.
Find more details about this event - 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Sydney