By Brad Culp on 21/08/10 at 12:26 pm
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Lisa Norden of Sweden claims the first ever sprint world championships
Sweden’s Lisa Norden continued her brilliant 2010 season, earning the first-ever ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championship in Lausanne today. Norden won with a last-lap surge to top current world number one Emma Moffatt of Australia.
“I was quite relaxed going into the race today. I tried not to think about it being a world championship,” Norden said. “The race went perfect. I really wanted to test my legs on the run and, obviously, they felt great.”
Moffatt secured the runner-up position, holding off local favourite Daniela Ryf, who thrilled the Swiss crowd with a third-place showing.
“It was a real hard race today, but it was also a lot of fun to race this distance, and I think that helped take some of the hard out of it,” Moffatt said.
Fifty-six women dove into crystal clear Lake Geneva to start with race with a 750-metre swim. As she has done all season long, Moffatt moved right to the front at the start of the swim, leading a group of four women, including Norden, out of the water in just under 10 minutes.
Norden and Moffatt pulled away from the rest of the pack on the first of four challenging bike laps, as Ryf led the charge to catch the two leaders. Ryf broke away from the chase pack after only a few kilometres, and rode solo for most of the first lap to catch the two girls up the road. Her hard riding paid off, as Ryf caught Moffatt and Norden and the new lead group of three worked together to pull away from the rest of the women. By the time the lead three hit the second transition, their lead was just over a minute, as the chase group, led by Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig, struggled to keep pace.
Out of transition, Moffatt and Norden immediately pulled away from Ryf, running side by side for the first of two laps along the Lake Geneva waterfront. Norden put on a big surge with only one kilometre left to run and Moffatt could not respond. Norden ran down the finishing chute with plenty of time to celebrate the second ITU World Championship of her career. She previously won the 2007 U23 world title in Hamburg, Germany.
“The run was very intense today,” Norden said. “I’m used to racing twice this distance, so the run is more about pacing and getting into a rhythm. There was no time to get into a rhythm today-it was all out from the start.”
Norden’s winning time of 58:02 was 14 seconds better than runner-up Moffatt. Ryf rounded out the podium, finishing another 34 back of the Aussie.
“I’ve struggled a lot over the last couple of months and have had a hard time keeping my fitness up,” Ryf said. “Such a strong effort wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else today. It made such a difference to be in my home country and have the crowd on my side.”