Aussie triathletes in fine Games form
14 July 2014
TRIATHLON: Emma Jackson produced a brilliant finish to take the silver medal behind dominant American Gwen Jorgensen in the World Triathlon Series sprint race in Hamburg on Saturday.
It was a perfect hit out for the pint-sized Queenslander just two weeks before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - her priority race this year.
The 2012 Olympian, who was third in the ITU round in London last month, dug deep to best Canadian Kirsten Sweetland in a photo finish for the minor places six seconds behind Jorgensen who became the first triathlete to win four WTS races in a row.
"Emma was fantastic and timed her run perfectly after pacing herself through the bike," said Triathlon Australia's performance director Bernard Savage.
"And she should be even better when the time comes to race in Glasgow."
Emma Moffat withdrew early in the run, complaining of breathing difficulties, having suffered a fall from her bike while training in Hamburg during the week.
"Emma had a small fall and suffered a bruised calf and ribs which may have had something to do with her breathing," said Savage.
"It certainly isn't something she has had any problems with in the past so it could well be connected with the fall - we'll check it out.
"She had already planned to miss Sunday's Mixed Teams Relay Championship to return to her training base in Girona."
Another Commonwealth Games competitor, Ashleigh Gentle, also produced an encouraging race to finish 10th in her first major competition for several months while Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham was 51st in her first ITU race of the year.
In the men's event, Australia's most consistent male of the past two years, Aaron Royle, finished 11th in a helter skelter finish.
Royle put himself in the picture when he fought hard to stay in touch on the bike in a race won by Britain's Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee.
The favourite for gold in Glasgow, Brownlee charged to victory ahead of Vincent Luis of France and his brother, Jonathan Brownlee.
The good news for Royle is he was the third Commonwealth Games athlete to finish the race, ahead of South African Richard Murray (13th) and New Zealand's Ryan Sissons (20th).
Dan Wilson, who will join Royle on the Glasgow start line, was 27th.
Australia's third Commonwealth Games athlete, Ryan Bailie, had a timing chip failure but team officials believe he finished in the second half of the field.
Aussies fourth in mixed relay
Australia's triathletes have missed out on bronze in a thrilling mixed teams relay at the World Championship in Hamburg.
Despite finishing in fourth spot the team produced another encouraging performance in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Australian team of Charlotte McShane, Aaron Royle, Emma Jackson and Dan Wilson looked strong and headed into the final leg in front on Sunday, but were pipped to a podium finish.
The event will be staged for the first time in a multi-sport Games event in Glasgow.
With each team member required to complete a 300m swim, 6.6km bike and 1.6km run, it was a frantic pace from the opening swim to the final run.
The Australians started with 2013 Under-23 ITU World Champion McShane who tagged 2012 Under-23 world champion in Royle, who completed a brilliant second leg in second place.
Jackson, who produced a stunning silver medal in Saturday's individual Sprint event, hung in to produce another outstanding run leg before tagging anchorman Dan Wilson in first place.
Wilson, who has been preparing for the Glasgow Games in an altitude tent in Aix Les Bains in France, took the plunge with a flying leap knowing he had to face off against Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and French star Vincent Luis.
Brownlee and Luis cleared off on the run to fight out gold and silver, leaving Wilson and Hungarian Margit Vanek to battle for the bronze.
In the end it was Brownlee, who sprinted clear of Luis to take the tape for the Brits ahead of Luis, with Vanek, who stole a march on Wilson in T2, claiming an upset bronze ahead of Australia, who again had to settle for fourth.