Erin Densham and Brendan Sexton win GE Canary Wharf Triathlon in London

01st July 2011 – British Triathlon, GE Triathlon

Australian Erin Densham became the 2011 GE Canary Wharf Triathlon champion this evening [Thursday 30th June], eventually easing to victory after beating off strong competition from Hollie Avil and a spirited comeback from Jodie Stimpson. Densham finished in a time of 0:28:40, 12 seconds ahead of Avil after a powerful finish on the run.

canary-wharf-triathlon-womensDensham (25), from New South Wales, said: “It’s a great race and a great course. The format is awesome – you never know what’s going to happen, you’ve just got to go hard the whole time.  I heard a lot of people cheering for me which always helps you lift your game.”

Second placed, Hollie Avil, finished in 0:28:52, continuing an impressive comeback after finishing 12th at the European Championships last weekend, she said: “It’s another step in the right direction.  The main thing is I got out there and loved it today, I’m really pleased.  There wasn’t much talking going on [in the bike leg] so it was really hard work, but we pushed it and that’s what triathlon should be about.”

Despite a gutsy effort on the bike, Stimpson, the defending British Triathlon Super Series Champion, was unable to catch the front two finishing third in 0:28:59. She commented after the race: “I could see them in the distance, I could almost touch them but they were working together and they did a good job of staying ahead.

“I knew I was behind after the swim so I was in a rush to get back in touch with the leaders. I knew Erin was the girl that I had to beat. Hollie was in my sights [on the run] and I was clawing her down but in the end I just ran out of road.”

Densham breezed through the first heat in pole position with a solid performance that set her up nicely for a shot at the title.  As the crowds gathered at Canary Wharf, the Aussie carried her early form into the grand final and put in a scintillating run to pull away from Avil, Lucy Hall and Abbie Thorrington to claim the champion’s trophy.

The GE Canary Wharf Triathlon is the penultimate race in this year’s British Triathlon Super Series with the podium positions still all to play for after tonight’s dramatic race.

This first ever race in the iconic business and shopping district of Canary Wharf attracted a strong contingent of athletes from Great Britain and Australia.  The event also included a ‘Corporate Wave’ race which saw Canary Wharf tenants battle it out in a relay over the same course as the elite athletes, with the LOCOG team utilising their local knowledge to ultimately triumph.

Elite competitors will now look ahead to the last race in the season, the Virgin Active London Triathlon on 30th July as the race to be crowned British Triathlon Super Series Champion 2011 enters the home straight.

Brendan Sexton won the men’s race after beating off strong competition from British duo, Aaron Harris and Matt Gunby. Sexton finished in a time of 0:26:11 after an exciting sprint finish in front of huge city crowds followed just over a second behind by Harris, who beat Gunby into third place.

canary-wharf-triathlon-mensSexton commented on the rush to the finish line: “Aaron really gave it to me tonight and there were parts when I wasn’t sure I could hold onto him. I knew I had a good sprint in me so if I could hang onto him in that last quarter then I knew I’d give him a real go, it was great fun.

“I love a good battle when it comes down to the finish line like that; it makes it sweeter knowing you pushed all the way to the end.”

Second placed Harris said: “Tonight was awesome, it was one of my best races – I felt brilliant. It was just a shame to be pipped by an Aussie but I’m happy with second here at the GE Canary Wharf Triathlon. “

Commenting on the Super Sprint format he added: “I would love to come back and race it all over again, I enjoyed the heat and the final, it’s just like track racing, it’s brilliant.”

Gunby, who snatched third spot on the podium said: “The pace was really on tonight, particularly early doors. I wanted to stay towards the front of the bike if possible but the first three or four laps I just couldn’t work my way through.  Thankfully it eased off towards the end and I was able to work my way up.

“With such a short run I knew I needed to be towards the front for the second transition because you don’t want any deficit left to make up. During the run I felt awesome, I was closing the guys down and feeling great but it was one of those days.

“Tonight has been great, the atmosphere for the final was really good.  Earlier for the heats the sun was out and for the final it was almost dark, so they were two really different races but they were equally as fun.”

Sexton eased through the first heat in pole position with a solid all-round performance.  As the crowds gathered at Canary Wharf, Aussie Sexton carried his early form into the decider and put in a powerful sprint finish to claim the champion’s trophy and make it a double for Australia with Erin Densham claiming the title for the women.

The GE Canary Wharf Triathlon is the penultimate race in this year’s British Triathlon Super Series with the podium positions still all to play for after tonight’s epic competition.

The first ever triathlon in the iconic business and shopping district of Canary Wharf attracted athletes from mainland Europe, Australia, the United States and South Africa as well as a strong contingent from the UK.

Elite competitors will now look ahead to the last race in the season, the Virgin Active London Triathlon on 30th July as the race to be crowned British Triathlon Super Series Champion 2011 enters the home straight.

 

 

Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.