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Aussies snag bronze double in Mooloolaba

18 March 2013

TRIATHLON: Olympian Emma Moffatt and rising star Peter Kerr have each won bronze medals for Australia at the first ITU World Cup of the year on the Sunshine Coast.

Anne Haug (GER) continued on from where she left off last year, the 2012 World Triathlon Series grand final winner taking out the women’s race at Mooloolaba.

In hot and windy conditions, Haug showed her strength on the bike and run to destroy a quality field, leaving Jodie Stimpson (GBR) and local hope Moffatt in second and third place, with 2012 World Number 3 Andrea Hewitt (NZL) in fourth.

Moffat had the locals cheering when she emerged from the swim leg in first place, in the process taking the US$500 bonus. She had good company though, with Hewitt, Rebecca Clarke (NZL), Natalie Van Coevorden (AUS), Simone Ackermann (NZL), Aileen Reid (IRL) and Stimpson (GBR) in the lead group.

Haug was a little slower out of the water but powered across the 175 metre run from the beach to the first transition and then the 60 metre gap to the leaders, ensuring she would not be left stranded in a chase group on the bike. Emma Jackson (AUS) and Maaike Caelers (NED) were not so strong though and settled into the chase, with Jackson finishing 12th.

Little changed throughout the bike leg and as they headed out on the run it was Haug quickest through transition with the lead group of eight establishing a margin of over 3 and a half minutes over the chase group. It was an impressive ride from the leaders in the hot and windy conditions, the offshore breeze welcomed by the spectators but not the athletes.

Eight quickly became four on the run, with Haug, Stimpson, Moffatt and Hewitt showing their class. First to drop was Hewitt, leaving three to fight out the medals with 5km to race. Despite the support of the home fans it was Moffatt who was the next to find the pace too quick, and the race was down to two.

Despite her renowned sprint ability, it was Haug who made the move with just over a kilometre to run, kicking clear of Stimpson to win her first ITU World Cup race, confirming her status as one of the sport’s leading lights.

Moffatt was pleased to be on the podium again in Mooloolaba, but talked of an elusive win.

“It is always nice to be on the podium, it is a tough race, I think I have had two seconds here before so I will have to come back next year and try to get on top but I am happy with third.

“My shoe was hard to put on in transition and halfway through the first lap my shoe lace came undone, I got it sorted quickly though but yeah, it wasn’t the quickest transition. I ran comfortably in front but then tactics came into the race and I just tried to run within myself and just couldn’t match the pace in the final lap and a half.”

In the men’s event Spain’s Javier Gomez moved to second on the all time list of ITU World Cup triathlon wins with his 13th career victory.

Gomez coped brilliantly in the 27-degree conditions, surprising given he has struggled throughout his career on such days. Matt Chrabot (USA) and Peter Kerr (AUS) battled stride for stride for the minor placings, with the American finishing two seconds ahead of the Oceania Champion, who picked up his first ITU World Cup podium.

Kerr was over the moon at a breakthrough performance in front of his home fans.

“That was just epic, I have run in Hamburg and the atmosphere is fantastic but the Australian crowd, when it is all for you it doesn’t compare, when everyone is yelling your name you don’t want to let them down,” Kerr said.

“That is my first World Cup podium and Gomez is class, to run with him for a kilometre and a half was fantastic, maybe he knows who I am now for future races, I couldn’t be happier with today.”

Olympics.com.au with ITU

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