Emma Moffatt Wins Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship With Grand Final Victory
Australiaâ€™s Emma Moffatt overcame pre-race injury worries to win the 2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship as she beat her main rival, Lisa Norden from Sweden, in a sprint finish to cross the line in a time of 1:59:14, winning the Series Grand Final on Australiaâ€™s Gold Coast. Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand managed to finish eighth and in so doing so secured the championship bronze medal.
Moffatt entered the final event of the year just 120 points ahead of Norden knowing that a top two finish would ensure her the world title, however she had been suffering with a foot injury in the lead up to the race which had reduced her training.
Starting with a beach run to the water, it was Americaâ€™s Sarah Haskins who took full advantage of the ocean swells and choppy waves as she hit the front and pushed the pace along with Jessica Harrison from France. The pair exited the water after the first 750m out in front with the main pack bunched together. On the second lap Haskins increased her lead whilst Harrison dropped back into a small pack of six giving the front seven a slight break on the rest of thee field, which they were able to carry onto the 40km cycle.
Haskins, Harrison, Norden, Moffatt, Great Britainâ€™s defending world champion Helen Jenkins, Sarah Groff from the USA and Australiaâ€™s Annabel Luxford worked strongly to put time into the chasing athletes, which included third ranked Andrea Hewitt from New Zealand and Switzerlandâ€™s fourth ranked athlete, Daniela Ryf. Despite repeated attempts to increase the pace and track down the leaders the chasers could not organise themselves appropriately and the front seven were able to carry a fifty second lead onto the 10km run.
Moffatt lead out of transition and looked to be the certain winner until Norden bridged up to her half way through the opening lap, putting pressure on the Aussie. With Haskins shadowing the leading pair, maintaining a twelve second gap, the possibility of Moffatt slipping out of the gold medal position was always a possibility and the raucous home support cheered her through lap after lap.
With just one kilometre to go Moffatt made her decisive move on the final incline to try and put distance into Norden, however the Swede was able to respond. It took 800 metres of hard running for the determined Scandinavian to eventually fall off the pace, leaving Moffatt a clear run into the finish, greeted by an ecstatic Australian crowd.
Further back Helen Jenkins stormed past Haskins on the final lap to deny USA Triathlon a podium finish at the 2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Grand Final, and in so doing overtook Haskins in the final world championships, moving up to fifth. Hewittâ€™s eighth place finish was enough for her to retain third position in the standings with Ryf fourth.
â€œIâ€™m absolutely delighted,â€ said Moffatt. â€œI was a bit worried having a month off running, but I knew that recovery had been going well and once I started the run I knew I had it in the bag. To come through so strongly in front of a home crowd like this is just incredible; itâ€™s been an amazing year.â€
â€œI knew it was very hard to get up to third today and I hoped that Haskins or Jenkins could catch up to us,â€ said Norden, Swedenâ€™s first senior elite world championship medallist. â€œEmma is a really strong girl, she had an injury and she came through today. I expected there to be a breakaway, but I didnâ€™t expect to be in it. To be in the front pack today was a big step for me coming from a non-swimming background, and as a sportswoman thatâ€™s a really big achievement. Itâ€™s been an amazing year and an amazing experience.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t have the best race I could,â€ admitted Hewitt. â€œI missed the front group and I had to work a lot on the bike which took it out of me on the run, but I still made the podium and Iâ€™m stoked. I knew I needed about five positions on Sarah Haskins and Helen Jenkins, but I was just trying to do my best.”
2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship
Gold. Emma Moffatt, Australia. 4340pts / 2009 World Champion
Silver. Lisa Norden, Sweden. 4130pts
Bronze. Andrea Hewitt, New Zealand. 3462pts
4. Daniela Ryf, Switzerland. 3187pts
5. Helen Jenkins, Great Britain. 3173pts
6. Sarah Haskins, USA. 3139pts
7. Juri Ide, Japan. 2477pts
8. Magali Di Marco, Switzerland. 2422pts
9. Jessica Harrison, France. 2365pts
10. Annabel Luxford, Australia. 2191pts