By Merryn Sherwood on 17/07/11 at 3:48 pm
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Reigning ITU World Champion Emma Moffatt claims her first win of 2011
Reigning ITU World Champion Emma Moffatt has claimed her first Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series victory in almost two years, and helped to create history, punctuating the first all-Australian and all-Emma podium sweep today in Hamburg.
In a stellar weekend for Australian triathlon in Germany, which Brad Kahlefeldt started when he won the men’s race on Saturday, Moffatt beat fellow Australians Emma Jackson and Emma Snowsill to the line, the first time there has been three Emmas on an ITU podium. For Jackson, it was her first Dextro Energy Series Triathlon podium and certainly the moment that the reigning Under23 World Champion can say she’s really arrived, while for Snowsill it was a brilliant way to break out of her lacklustre early season form.
For Moffatt, its her first series win since winning the 2009 Grand Final on Australia’s Gold Coast, drawing level with Paula Findlay on the total number of series title wins - both now have five - and a rare win over Snowsill. Usually, when the pair go head-to-head, its the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion who wins out.
“Usually it’s a few steps with her and then she’s gone but today I thought I would try to match her and obviously I could do that for a little bit and then I kind of felt strong on the third lap so I tried to push it and I guess that’s where I kind of made my break,” Moffatt said. “I’m really happy with my performance, but also the other Emmas as well. “
Snowsill summed it up as a win for the Australian team, who had four in the top seven with Erin Densham‘s seventh place finish.
“I think its a sign of things to come hopefully that the girls are coming back,” Snowsill said. “It’s always tough when you come from such a strong nation I guess that all the eyes are always upon you and to perform and four in the top seven is phenomenal and it always makes for a hard battle to make the Australian team, so I’m just really proud to be part of the Aussie girls today and to be on the podium with two other Emmas.”
The race started under grey skies and a wetsuit swim, with the water temperature at 19.5 degrees. Great Britain’s Lucy Hall made an impression in her Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series debut, rocketing to the front in the swim leg. But the biggest surprise was seeing Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig and Snowsill right on her tail. Spirig was making her 2011 season debut, but the extended time she spent in the pool due to stress fractures immediately paid dividends on her normally slower swim, while Snowsill finally managed to get away from the slow swims that cost her in Sydney and Madrid.
Hall was quickly caught on the first lap of eight laps and two distinct packs formed, the main one with 35 athletes – including Spirig, Moffatt, Snowsill, Barbara Riveros Diaz, Andrea Hewitt and Sarah Groff. That group stayed together for the entire eight laps, with not much changing as Spirig and Svenja Bazlen did the bulk of the work, and the rest seemed content to leave the result down to the 10km run.
That group of 35 then hit T2 together and it was Ainhoa Murua, Densham and Moffatt who were able to get out first. While Snowsill and Jackson initially left transition well back, it didn’t take long for them to power to the front and within the first lap they had caught the front group. Then with five kilometres to go, it suddenly turned into a Trans-Tasman battle as Snowsill, Jackson, Moffatt and Hewitt dropped Murua and Riveros Diaz. From there, Moffatt turned on her kick in the last kilometre to leave her compatriots fighting for silver and bronze.
In a sprint to the line, Jackson showed that international triathlon doesn’t just have two Australian Emmas to watch for now as she just pipped Snowsill.
“I felt very proud to be running up there with Emma Snowsill and Emma Moffatt, both World Champions and Olympic medallists,” Jackson said. “So I was so happy to be running with them.”
Overall, Barbara Riveros Diaz’s fifth placed finish was just enough for her to take the lead in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series from Canadian Paula Findlay, who did not race in Hamburg. Riveros Diaz now has 2497 series points, ahead of Findlay’s 2400. Andrea Hewitt is in third with 2317, and Emma Moffatt in fourth with 2016 points.
Find more details about this event - 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Hamburg