For the second time in
three weeks, Australia’s women made a clean sweep of the podium at an ITU World
The same three women who achieved the feat in Honolulu early in April were back
on the podium at the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup - but in a different order.
Loretta Harrop claimed her first win since winning silver at the 2008 Olympics
Games with a gutsy solo performance in high heat.
Emerging from the swim was the familiar scenario of Australian’s Harrop and
Nicole Hackett following the 1.5km ocean swim in the pristine waters of the
The pair managed to get a 1:30 minute break from fellow Australian’s Emma Snowsill
and Annabel Luxford.
Behind them was a group of twelve that included Debbie Tanner (NZL), Christine
Jeffrey (CAN), Andrea Whitcombe (GBR), Machiko Nakanishi (JPN), Michelle Dillon
(GBR) and Samantha Warriner (NZL).
Harrop posted the fastest transition split and appeared to be waiting for Hackett
to work with in the first lap but Hackett was not able to respond.
Over the next eight laps Harrop consistently posted lap splits between 8:30
and 8:33 and by the bike to run transition she had an insurmountable 3 minute
lead going into the run.
Hackett dropped back to join Snowsill and Luxford and the trio worked well together
but by lap five Hackett withdrew due to illness.
Despite their best effort the pair could not make any impression on Harrop and
the second chase group of 12 never got organised enough to bridge the gap to
A slight southerly breeze picked up on the run giving the women some welcome
relief from the heat and a tailwind heading up Alexander Hill on the four lap
As Harrop left transition the crowd support was deafening for the local girl
hoping that they would not see a repeat of Athens when she was run down within
sight of the finish line.
Despite Snowsill being the fastest runner on the ITU World Cup circuit, three
minutes was too much of a gap and she could only manage to reduce it to 1:45
at the finish.
A delighted Harrop stopped to acknowledge the fantastic crowd support along
the finishing straight as she crossed the line beaming, ending Snowsill’s eight
race winning streak.
Luxford again claimed third place today with another strong performance.
Michelle Dillon ran herself into fourth place today with Kiyomi Niwata also
putting in a solid run to grab fifth spot.
Young teenager Felicity Abram (AUS) finished sixth and secured herself a spot
on the Australian team for the World Championships in September. She joins Snowsill,
Harrop and Luxford.
“I just gave it everything I had today and knew I needed a big lead going
into the run if I had any chance of winning,” said Harrop. “The Australian’s
are ahead of the world right now and to clean sweep the podium again is fantastic.”
Harrop will now head to Ishigaki in two weeks time to take part in the fourth
round of the ITU World Cup while Snowsill will take a break for a month before
returning to competition.
Following today’s results Harrop and Snowsill now share the number one ranking
with Luxford moving into number three.
By the time the men’s race got underway the temperature had dropped and a stiff
breeze had come up cooling things a little.
Late inclusion to the men’s field James Seear (AUS), brother of Olympian Maxine
Seear, was the early race leader.
Next to emerge was a group that included New Zealand’s gold and silver medalists
Hamish Carter and Bevan Docherty, along with home favourites Courtney Atkinson
(who finished 3rd in Honolulu), Bryce Quirk, Simon Thompson, Matt Hopper, Craig
Alexander and David Dellow, and the Japanese pair of Ryosuke Yamamoto, Yuichi
The group remained unchanged but swapped leaders through the first five laps
of the bike before Thompson and Hopper made a break from the bunch and managed
to build a 58 second lead heading back into transition for the final four lap
Thompson got the jump on Hopper out of transition and did not consider relinquishing
the lead for a moment.
The effort on the bike by Hopper was a telling tale as he faded in the final
stages to finish ninth.
Atkinson recorded the fastest run split of the day to move himself into second
spot but ran out of time in the end to catch Thompson.
Despite cramping in the final kilometres Thompson was delighted as he crossed
the finish line to secure his first World Cup win. “I was just so determined
after a DNF in Mexico. This is a big step for me and I feel like the monkey
is off my back,” said Thompson.
Great Britain’s Paul Amey spoilt an all-Australian podium as he ran through
the field to secure third place.
Australia’s Craig Alexander finished strong to hold down fourth place and also
gain World Championship selection for Australia.
For the Olympic Champion Hamish Carter it was a hard day finishing seventh.
“I had forgotten just how tough these races are.”
Top 10: Elite Women
1,Harrop Loretta,AUS - 2:08:26
2,Snowsill Emma,AUS - 2:10:11
3,Luxford Annabel,AUS - 2:11:29
4,Dillon Michelle,GBR - 2:12:37
5,Niwata Kiyomi,JPN - 2:12:43
6,Abram Felicity,AUS - 2:13:03
7,Whitcombe Andrea,GBR - 2:13:39
8,Warriner Samantha,NZL - 2:14:13
9,Tanner Debbie,NZL - 2:14:33
10,Nakanishi Machiko,JPN - 2:15:02
Top 10 Elite Men
1,Thompson Simon,AUS - 1:58:38
2,Atkinson Courtney,AUS - 1:59:05
3,Amey Paul,GBR - 1:59:35
4,Alexander Craig,AUS - 1:59:50
5,Quirk Bryce,AUS - 2:00:37
6,Dellow David,AUS - 2:00:54
7,Carter Hamish,NZL - 2:01:13
8,Farlow Aaron,AUS - 2:01:40
9,Hopper Matt,AUS - 2:02:12
10,Hill Chris,AUS - 2:02:45
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