New Zealand’s Mikayla Nielsen shines amidst rain as new Junior World Champion

by Paula Kim on 10 Sep, 2011 02:59 • Español

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Kiwi Mikayla Nielsen shines as new Junior World Champion

On a cold, rainy day in Beijing, Mikayla Nielsen of New Zealand shone through, securing the biggest win of her promising career thus far – the ITU Junior Triathlon World Championship.

Australian Ashlee Bailie finished up just two seconds behind Nielsen for the silver while an elated Hanna Philippin of Germany locked up the bronze with a strong final push on the run.

At chilly 14 degrees Celsius air temperatures, 54 junior women dove into the Shisanling reservoir for a one-lap 750m swim.  Very early on the field began to spread out and at the swim finish, star swimmer Lucy Hall was first out of the water along with Anastasia Gorbunova of Russia.  The pair was quickly joined on the bike course by Sophie Drews of Germany and Monika Orazem of Slovenia. 

After Hall and Orazem tried to break away early, eventually the chase caught up to them and a group of 17 women came together at the end of the second of three laps. That group included Bailie, Nielsen, Canadian Joanna Brown and American Kelly Whitley, bronze medallist at last year’s Youth Olympic Games.

Canada’s Allison Hooper was the first into T2 with German Hanna Philippin and Karin Chibana of Japan just behind her, along with the rest of the lead group.

But early in the 5km run, Nielsen made her move and surged to the front.  She opened up a slight gap on Bailie and Philippin.  The rain continued but it didn’t stall Nielsen’s march to her first career World Championship title.  Nielsen broke the tape at one hour, 3 minutes and 40 seconds to become the new Junior World Champion.

“I’m really pleased with the result. I’m quite new to the sport so it’s pretty overwhelming, especially being on the Olympic course, but it was always my goal to go for a medal and aim for the top,” said Nielsen after the race.

Bailie became the latest Australian junior to make the podium at the Junior World Championships after Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Jackson in recent years.

“I had no expectations coming into the race, I was just hoping for a good swim, ride and run and didn’t mind what the outcome was, just that I had a good race on the day,” said Bailie. “I would have loved gold, but silver I’m not complaining. Hopefully this will be the start of my under23 career. Big Olympic distance here I come!”

Philippin claimed her first world championship medal, crossing the line in third place.

“It’s my first world championships and I got a medal, so what can I say? It’s the best thing I could ever imagine,” she said. “It was so cold because of the rain, but it was a hard and good race. The hills were really tough and the other girls were all very good, so third place was the best I could do today and I’m really happy about it.”

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Related Event: 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Grand Final Beijing
09 - 11 Sep, 2011 • event pageall results
Results: U23 Women
1. Agnieszka Jerzyk POL 02:07:07
2. Zsófia Kovács HUN 02:07:08
3. Rebecca Robisch GER 02:07:14
4. Kaitlin Donner USA 02:07:18
5. Yuliya Yelistratova UKR 02:07:30
6. Non Stanford GBR 02:07:44
7. Anja Knapp GER 02:07:48
8. Charlotte Morel FRA 02:07:51
9. Lauren Goldstein- Kral USA 02:07:54
10. Alexandra Coates CAN 02:08:08
Results: U23 Men
1. Matthew Sharp GBR 01:52:12
2. David Mcnamee GBR 01:52:17
3. Thomas Bishop GBR 01:52:19
4. Gregory Billington USA 01:52:38
5. Franz Loeschke GER 01:53:01
6. Igor Polyanskiy RUS 01:53:05
7. Pierre Le Corre FRA 01:53:17
8. Ivan Ivanov UKR 01:53:26
9. Rodrigo Gonzalez MEX 01:53:28
10. Davide Uccellari ITA 01:53:53
Results: Junior Women
1. Mikayla Nielsen NZL 01:03:40
2. Ashlee Bailie AUS 01:03:42
3. Hanna Philippin GER 01:03:47
4. Eszter Pap HUN 01:04:02
5. Kelly Whitley USA 01:04:12
6. Joanna Brown CAN 01:04:16
7. Adriana Barraza MEX 01:04:22
8. Allison Hooper CAN 01:04:27
9. Christine Ridenour CAN 01:04:38
10. Annika Vössing GER 01:04:49
Results: Junior Men
1. Lukas Verzbicas USA 00:56:21
2. Justus Nieschlag GER 00:56:54
3. Tony Smoragiewicz USA 00:56:59
4. Ron Darmon ISR 00:57:06
5. Matt Brown AUS 00:57:11
6. Matthias Steinwandter ITA 00:57:19
7. Alois Knabl AUT 00:57:28
8. Dávid Pap HUN 00:57:30
9. Raphael Montoya FRA 00:57:35
10. Gordon Benson GBR 00:57:37
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