Australia's Brittany Dutton is Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Champion
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Australia’s Brittany Dutton rode a gutsy solo bike breakaway to claim Youth Olympic gold in Nanjing on Sunday August 17 and continue Australia’s stellar success in women’s triathlon competition at the Olympic Games.
Australian women have now won a medal at every triathlon competition at the Olympics, including the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Of those medals, Dutton is just the second woman to have won a gold medal. The other, Emma Snowsill, also won her gold in China - at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games - and was on hand at Xuanwu Lake in her role as a Nanjing athlete role model.
In hot and humid Nanjing, Dutton made her decisive break on the fourth and final lap of the 20km bike course and quickly put 20 seconds on the rest of the field. Despite a fast finish from the USA’s Stephanie Jenks, Dutton stayed strong and held on to win the first gold medal of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
“It’s awesome, I still can’t believe it,” Dutton said. “Throughout the bike I could see maybe I might be able to get away so I tried it and I got away. On the run I just had to hold my lead and it worked.
“I have strong cycling background so I thought I would give it a go, had nothing to lose and I stayed away.”
With wet but humid conditions meeting the competitors, It was Japan’s Minami Kubono who led the non-wetsuit swim out of the water, and was followed by Australia’s Brittany Dutton, Germany’s Kristin Ranwig, Great Britain’s Sian Rainsley and Venezuela’s Katherine Vanesa Clemant Materano. In the first lap, Spain’s Carmen Gomez Cortez bridged up to the leaders.
That group of six worked together strongly across the first two laps of the technical course in Nanjing, keeping a second group that included the USA’s Stephanie Jenks, New Zealand’s Elizabeth Stannard and France’s Emilie Moriera steady 20 seconds behind.
But on the fourth lap, Dutton decided to make a break and behind her the two chase groups merged. It put Jenks and Morier right back in with the leaders and they ran themselves onto the Youth Olympic podium.
Jenks, who celebrated her 17th birthday on the day of the race, said she had pushed herself to the limit.
“I went out and gave it my all and raced with no regrets so I couldn’t do anything better,” she said.
While France’s Morier surprised herself with her bronze medal.
“I am very happy to have a very good race and I didn’t realise my place. For me the aim was top 10, so now in third place, incredible,” she said.