Australia’s elite triathletes have shown there’s no slowing down on their road to Tokyo, displaying some fast and heated racing as elite competition returned at home and abroad over the weekend.
Sydney’s Natalie Van Coevorden put together a performance that would do her absentee Australian teammates proud at the 2020 Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon. As the sole Australian on the WTS Hamburg starting line, Van Coevorden gave a lively performance among a stacked field to take home 13th in a time of 55:43.
A dominant swim and a strong ride saw the Sydneysider mixing it up with the leaders right up until the final stages of the 20km cycle leg. Finding herself sitting at the back of the lead pack heading into T2, Van Coevorden pulled out all stops to hang on for the run, sprinting home to a solid 13th place. Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown put together a world-class performance on the run to claim the World Championship, with Bermuda’s Flora Duffy and Germany’s Laura Lindemann rounding out the podium.
Back on home soil, Jaz Hedgeland built upon her impressive 2019 season to claim her first win of 2020 at the Bribie Island Tri. Competing against a mix of Olympic and Commonwealth Games representatives, as well as rising U23 and Junior stars, Hedgeland displayed stamina and strength across all three legs to claim the win. Ashleigh Gentle kept the pressure on the 25-year old over the run to take home 2nd place, with Gillian Backhouse rounding out the podium in 3rd.
2016 Rio Olympian Ryan Fisher pulled together a class performance in his first race of the 2020 season, sprinting home to a narrow win over Brisbane’s Luke Willian in the Elite Men’s field. With Fisher, Willian, Brandon Copeland, Nicholas Free, Lorcan Redmond, Lachlan Jones and Matthew Roberts all within striking distance of a podium finish off the bike, it was always going to come down to the final few kilometres of racing. Fisher had the best legs of the bunch off the bike, pushing through to take the win in 45:56, with Willian and Copeland closely behind in 2nd and 3rd.
While the ITU circuit now turns its focus towards the 2020 Karlovy Vary ITU Triathlon World Cup, the Australian domestic calendar continues with the 2020 Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman.
2020 Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon
13th - Natalie Van Coevorden
Bribie Island Tri
1st – Ryan Fisher
2nd – Luke Willian
3rd – Brandon Copeland
1st – Jaz Hedgeland
2nd – Ashleigh Gentle
3rd – Gillian Backhouse