Photo Credit: Delly Carr / ITU
It was an Emma of a day in Hamburg today as Australia’s triathlon trio Emma Moffatt, Emma Jackson and Emma Snowsill celebrated a triumphant and history-making ITU Dextro Energy Triathlon World Championship round in Hamburg.
In what was arguably the first time in triathlon and maybe even world sporting history that three girls with the same christian name and from the same country shared the podium in a major World Championship round in any sport.
And in typical Australian style the three girls shared a â€œbeer showerâ€ after pouring the sponsors product over their smiling faces following the playing of Advance Australia Fair.
The girls will no doubt be the envy of any Australian sporting star and team â€“ to be presented with giant steins of beer to celebrate an amazing triple treat for the Queensland girls.
Two-time and defending world champion Moffatt (1hr 53 mins 37 secs) streeted away towards the final two kilometres of the run leg to leave her fellow Emmas to fight it out for silver and bronze.
In a stunning duel it was the 20-year-old Jackson (1:53.44), last year’s under 23 World Champion who just edged out 30-year-old Olympic champion and three-time world champion Snowsill (also1:53.44) for her best ever result.
(The judges gave second to Jackson who breasted the tape ahead of Snowsill whose electronic timing chip on her angle was in front of Jackson’s angle.)
And it topped off an amazing weekend for Australia’s triathletes with the Emmas joining Saturday’s men’s winner Brad Kahlefeldt in a break through weekend for the Australians.For two-time and defending champion Moffatt it was her first victory of the 2011 ITU World Championship Series and to share her spoils (the gold medal and beer) with her partner and coach Kahlefeldt will certainly go down as one of the most memorable of their careers.
â€œI knew that when Snowy came up in the run I had to try and go with her but I made my move on the third lap and I knew I just had to go for it and it was great to finally break through for a win,â€ said Moffatt.
â€œJust wonderful for all three Emmas to share a special moment together,â€
Silver-medal winning Jackson admitted she was just proud to be finally rubbing shoulders with her two â€œtwo more famous Emmasâ€ â€“ world champions and Olympic medallists â€“ in a elite race like Hamburg â€“ the biggest race of the year.
â€œIt was just a great moment for me and for all of us and it was a great race to be in, I can’t believe it, I was so proud,â€ said the young Queenslander.
For three-time World and Olympic champion Snowsill, it was a welcome return to form after a disappointing start to her international season.
â€œIt was finally good to transfer my swimming training into a race which really set up the rest of the race for me,â€ said a relieved Snowsill.
â€œAnd I think with the other Emmas going so well it is a sign of things to come for the Australians, with Erin Densham finishing seventh (1:54.43) having four of the top seven is quite amazing.
â€œIt makes you really proud to be an Australian on days like these.â€
The long-striding Moffatt found her running legs in a spectacular performance and as she strode out towards the finish line, all that remained to be answered was whether the other two Emmas could both podium and in what order would they finish.
At the bell lap and with 2.5km left in the run, it was Moffatt who had five seconds on Jackson, Snowsill and New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt.
The two-time and defending champion Moffatt, chasing her first podium of the season, made a break away 6.5km into the run, as Snowsill tried to hang on and hold off Hewitt and Jackson.
Moffatt joined Snowsill at her German training camp in the lead up to the race for 10 days which both girls relished and it certainly paid dividends with a timely turn-around in form.
Snowsill made her presence felt right from the opening swim leg which saw 250,000 people line the banks around the picturesque River Alster course.
The Olympic champion emerged from the water in sixth place behind outstanding British youngster Lucy Hall with Snowsill’s Beijing team mate Densham 12th, Felicity Abram 14th, Moffatt back in 36th with Jackson 37th.
The wetsuit swim saw much of the field close together and the Australians knew they had to place themselves towards the front to be within striking distance for the start of the bike.
After the first of the eight laps on the bike up to 35 riders were strung out in the peloton as they jostled for the best positions for the fast and flat technical bike course.
Moffatt wasted no time through the T1 to ensure she was able to weave her way through to challenge on the bike.
With three-time winner in Sydney, Madrid and Kitzbuhel, Canada’s Paula Findlay sidelined with a hip injury, it left the way for a new season winner in Hamburg.
Snowsill had not figured at all in Sydney or Madrid and sat Kitzbuhel out to get herself prepared for Hamburg, in the run up to the all-important London race in three weeks.
Four of the five Australians, the brave 2003 world junior champion Abram, Moffatt, Snowsill and Densham were all in the top 15 with the unperturbed Jackson close by after having to off-load a â€œGo Proâ€ camera which had come loose on her bike.
The green and gold brigade certainly made their presence felt as the large crowd encouraged the field and as one commentator said during the race: â€œWhen Australia is firing on all cylinders then that’s not good for the rest of the world.â€
It was Abram who led the 35-strong lead group at the bell lap in the bike that signalled five kilometres remaining and who had worked extremely hard through the first 35 kilometres, setting up the race for her team mates.
When it came to T2 it was Densham who led the field in with Moffatt not far behind who were among the slickest with Snowsill and Jackson ready to pounce.
Abram, who only re-started training six weeks ago after suffering from glandular fever, finished a very encouraging 16th in 1:55.33, to cap of an amazing day and an amazing weekend for the Australians.
An excited National Head Coach Shaun Stephens was quick to declareâ€ â€œWe’re backâ€¦we’re backâ€¦.!â€ After putting plans in place to get the Aussies back on their horse after a very indifferent start to the season.
â€œI knew we were all in good nick and we were actually joking around last night saying wouldn’t it be great if we could go three in the top five and then one of the boys saidâ€¦no reason why we can’t go 1-2-3 and sweep and we did, it was an amazing day for Australia,â€ said Stephens.
â€œAfter the disappointments of Sydney and Madrid and encouraging signs in Kitzbuhel we knew we had to make some subtle changes because we had the process right.
â€œWe knew we had to be aggressive and we just needed the belief and the self confidence and it all fell into place today. We are very proud of the whole team. They all did a great job.â€
The London round on August 6 and 7 will see the coming together of the best of the best as triathletes from every country battle it out for places on the Olympic team.
Full details on Triathlon.org
|5||Barbara Riveros Diaz||CHI||1:54:32||0:18:39||1:00:37||0:34:13|
|21||Sarissa De Vries||NED||1:55:50||0:18:39||1:00:42||0:35:22|
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