September 19: Two-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Emma Moffatt has finished the international season with an encouraging silver medal performance in the postponed round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU Triathlon World Championship Series in Yokohama today.
The ITU postponed the round, originally set down for May, following the devastating Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Moffatt worked hard on the bike after a solid swim before ensuring she had enough energy to last in the run in the hot (30 degrees plus), humid conditions that took its toll on the field.
Fellow Australian, Emma Jackson, fourth in the overall World Championship pointscore, decided in Beijing last weekend was a fast-finishing fifth, just in front of British world champion Helen Jenkins.
Brendan Sexton, who missed the Beijing race with a stomach virus was the best of the Australian men in 15th , while legend Chris McCormack was 34th after putting himself in contention on the bike, leading at one stage but the searing heat created havoc with everyone who raced. Brad Kahlefeldt, who withdrew during the Beijing race, didn’t make the start line, still battling the bacterial infection.
As hard as Moffatt tried she couldn’t match last week’s Beijing Grand Final winner, New Zealand’s Olympian Andrea Hewitt with another Kiwi, Kate Mcilroy rounding off an all-Commonwealth podium.
There was a nice ANZAC moment as the field fought to handle the heat when Hewitt and Moffatt shared a â€œcool downâ€ moment with Hewitt’s water bottle in the middle of the 10km run.
Moffatt, who chalked up her only win of the season in the Hamburg round, admitted today’s silver medal was an encouraging reward for what has been an indifferent season.
â€œIt has been an up and down year for me, with more downs than ups but nice to finish (on the podium) in what was I think the hottest race I’ve ever done,â€ said Moffatt.
â€œThe plan was to take it easier in the first two laps of the run and to conserve what energy you had left for the final two laps.â€
Jackson, at 20, was full of running as she, like the entire field had to come to grips with the heat of Yokohama, producing an eye-catching final sprint to edge out Jenkins and once again confirm her rating as a future Olympian.
Australia’s only other entrant today, WA’s Felicity Sheedy-Ryan, produced her best performance of the Series, finishing 14th despite incurring a 15 second penalty infringement, after giving a great sight through the bike and into the run.
Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt, who was forced out during last week’s Beijing Grand Final, is a late withdrawal from today’s race, suffering the continuing effects of a bacterial infection.