2006 steeplechase Commonwealth Games silver medallist Melissa Rollinson has continued her extraordinary success since switching to triathlon claiming her fourth straight victory in the opening round of the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series at Raby Bay this morning. Bryce McMaster out sprinted Ryan Fischer in a thriller to get his season off to a winning start over the 400m swim, 15km cycle and 4km run.
Rollinson would have been defending her steeplechase title at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi but has chosen triathlon after incurring a string of injuries.
Today she admitted it was still all a bit new to her but she is enjoying the training and rewards.
With her sights now firmly set on the Noosa Triathlon at the end of the month, Rollison will have some of her more seasoned competitors very wary. Rollinson gave away a massive 1min 13 sec after the swim to the race leaders, Maddi Allen, Brittany Forster, Gillian Backhouse, Chloe Turner and Kirralee Seidel but had managed to peg back the time and headed into the second transition with Forster leading.
After the first lap on the run Rollinson had taken control and with a 13.07 run split wasn’t challenged from there.
Seidel made up some ground on the second lap of the run to grab second, Forster hung on for third.
â€œI’m not a strong swimmer, so it’s always a catch up in the bike and run for me,â€ said Rollison.
â€œI’ve been doing a lot of riding, so I was hoping to catch up some time there then hold on in the run.
I’m really looking forward to Noosa and so far things are right on track.â€
In the men’s race it all came down to a thrilling sprint finish in the final 50m between McMaster and Fisher. McMaster just getting the better of Fisher but the effort telling as he collapsed over the line.
Nothing separated the top contenders after the swim, with Ben Shaw, McMaster, Fisher and Nicholas Hull first out with a small break over Sam Speechly, James Trevorrow and Michael Lori.
Fisher made his move on the bike to split the field and riding back into transition it was Fisher and McMaster first to rack their bikes with Shaw not far off the pace.
Fisher maintained a slight lead over McMaster on the first lap, Shaw the first to drop off the pace. Over the closing stages the pair ran together and McMaster finding the extra effort in the sprint finish with Fisher. Lori recorded the fastest run split of the day to claim third.
Once again Raby Bay proved to be a popular venue with just over 1500 competitors turning out to take part in one of three events offered here.
The day also included the Enticer Triathlon which continues to be a popular choice. Kye Wylde and Yasmin Grigaliunas claiming line honours over the 200m swim, 5km cycle and 2km run.
The day also included The Courier-Mail Kool Kids Triathlon, again recording the largest numbers ever covering short distances that any child could manage making it a fun experience â€“ 100m swim, 2km cycle and 400m run.
If you missed the first event don’t worry there are still 6 enormous events to come at your favourite locations and venues.
The second race in the series will now head to Robina Parkway on the Gold Coast, November 14. The Gold Coast events proved to be the best attended of the series last year and organisers, USM Events are confident that numbers will again be strong.