Australia awesome at Oceania Championships

Australia awesome at Oceania Championships

By Erin Greene on 01/03/14 at 11:29 am

Australia dominated the 2014 Oceania Championships in Devonport on Saturday, sweeping the medals in both the men’s and women’s races.

Women’s Review
Gillian Backhouse scored both her first elite and Under 23 continental championship when she blasted through the bike course to make up a small deficit out of the swim. Backhouse steamrolled her momentum onto the run, where she split a time of 37:42 to clench the title 40 seconds ahead of compatriot Natalie Van Coevorden.

Van Coevorden, a pre-race favourite, positioned herself as a threat straight from the start. She exited the water with frontrunners Maddison Allen (AUS) and Rebecca Clarke (NZL). She and Clarke rode together through the multi-lap course, but Backhouse’s leg power was too much for Van Coevorden to overcome, leaving her in second in 2:08:37.

Melinda Vernon (AUS), a runner trying her hand in triathlon, proved successful with her first ever ITU podium finish. After a solid swim and bike, the Aussie kicked into overdrive, bringing home the standard distance race in 36:44 to run herself into bronze medal position for an overall time of 2:09:20. Fiona Crombie clocked in as the first Kiwi in fourth place with a time of 2:09:54.

Men’s Review
In the men’s race, Aaron Royle and Ryan Fisher, along with compatriot Declan Wilson, pushed the pace on the bike, which proved pinnacle in the podium outcome.

Although Peter Kerr (AUS) took the lead out of the swim, a slow bike split allowed Royle and Fisher to overtake the 2013 champion. Wilson, who suffered a 14-second deficit out of the water, was forced to hammer hard to catch up to the pair. While the cycling effort paid off for a bronze medal, Wilson’s beat legs couldn’t stay with the eventual top two.

Running shoulder to shoulder, Royle just edged out Fisher by two seconds for the win in 1:53:01, making Fisher the runner up. Wilson crossed over next in 1:54:41.

Elite Men

1. Aaron Royle AUS AU 01:53:01
2. Ryan Fisher AUS AU 01:53:03
3. Declan Wilson AUS AU 01:54:41
4. Ryan Bailie AUS AU 01:55:31
5. Cameron Goldsmid NZL NZ 01:55:35
6. Brendan Sexton AUS AU 01:56:18
7. Jacob Birtwhistle AUS AU 01:56:49
8. Peter Kerr AUS AU 01:57:06
9. Matthew Baker AUS AU 01:57:31
10. Jesse Thyer AUS AU 01:59:05

Elite Women

1. Gillian Backhouse AUS AU 02:07:57
2. Natalie Van Coevorden AUS AU 02:08:37
3. Melinda Vernon AUS AU 02:09:20
4. Fiona Crombie NZL NZ 02:09:54
5. Charlotte McShane AUS AU 02:10:27
6. Rebecca Clarke NZL NZ 02:10:52
7. Deborah Lynch NZL NZ 02:12:00
8. Annelise Jefferies AUS AU 02:12:30
9. Maddie Dillon NZL NZ 02:14:00
10. Anneke Jenkins NZL NZ 02:15:51

Find more details about this event - 2014 Devonport OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships

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