By Merryn Sherwood on 02/12/11 at 7:51 am
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Reigning ITU World Champion Emma Moffatt claims her first win of 2011
Australia’s Emma Moffatt came into the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series as the two-time reigning champion; the only woman to have won an ITU World Championship since the series format started in 2009.
Her 2011 season then looked like it was off to a flying start when she claimed silver in the opening Mooloolaba World Cup. But the first half of Moffatt’s series didn’t live up to her usual standard. Instead of the podium places she had collected in almost every series race she had competed in 2009 and 2010, she finished 13th in Sydney, 13th in Madrid and 4th in Kitzbühel. So close, but just off the pace.
ALL ABOUT EMMA
ITU World Championships: 2 (2009, 2010)
Dextro Energy Triathlon Series wins: 5
Where she calls home: Gold Coast, Australia
You can follow Moffy on Twitter @_Moffy
But that frustrating start had a silver lining for Moffatt, who said that it gave her a new perspective.
“It’s not so fun when you don’t get to celebrate after your races…but I think all athletes have to deal with that, I think the ones that get through that are better for it and the ones that can achieve more things after that,” she said in Beijing. “For me, it’s proved for me how much triathlon is a mental game as well as physical.”
And that perspective also made it even sweeter when Moffatt did claim her first win for the season, leading home the historic all Australian, all Emma podium in Hamburg.
Before that race, Moffatt was yet to make a podium, Emma Snowsill, the three ITU World Champion and the Beijing Olympic Gold medallist, had finished 51st in Sydney and 21st in Madrid. Both results stemmed from uncharacteristic poor swims. The third Emma, Emma Jackson, had been one to watch since her 2010 Under23 World Championship win but hadn’t yet made an impact at the series level.
That was all about to change. All three Australians were in the big pack of about 30 that stayed together throughout the bike leg, Moffatt was one of the first out of T2 and while they started about 15 seconds behind, Jackson and Snowsill ran quickly through the pack. In the final two kilometres, the trio broke away from Andrea Hewitt to make triathlon history. Moffatt then surged to the front with a few hundred metres to go, as Jackson just edged out Snowsill in the sprint for second. As well as the first time three athletes called Emma had stood on an ITU podium, it was also the first time one country had swept a Dextro Energy Triathlon Series race.
A PERFECT PAIR
It wasn’t just a win for Australia in Hamburg, but a perfect result for one of triathlon’s power couples - Emma Moffatt and Brad Kahlefeldt. We asked them quickly about the other’s race in Hamburg, here’s Brad’s take on Moffy. “It was great to see Emma get the win as well. You do not see many couples both win the same WCS race these days with the depth of quality athletes on the tour now. So it was nice weekend for both of us.”
It was the first series win for Moffatt since the 2009 Grand Final, and meant that she was again the equal most successful woman in series history, catching Canada’s Paula Findlay who had overtaken her with her three straight series race wins to start the year.
“We’d been getting in a little bit of trouble from our coaches for not performing how we should be, so to get that performance was amazing, to have the three Aussies but all of us being Emmas was just a bit extra special,” she said in Beijing.
Moffatt went on to have a few more up and down results, finishing 15th in London, 24th in Lausanne and then 11th in Beijing. In the final race of the season in Yokohama, she claimed silver behind the unstoppable Hewitt and ended-up finishing seventh in the overall series rankings. But reflecting on it last week, Moffatt reinforced her ‘extra special’ day in Hamburg.
“My season had been pretty bleak up until Hamburg so to get back on top of the podium was nice. Plus it was extra special because I was with the other two Emmas and also Brad the day before. Hamburg is a special race as it draws such a big crowd and it’s run so well. It’s one of my favourite races.”
Find more details about this event - 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Hamburg