There has been criticism by the Australian triathlon community aimed at Triathlon Australia and in particular the selection committee for both the way the have handled the Olympic team selection process and the subsequent team selection. In particular the women’s team and, what many thought would harm our medal chances, the non selection of Emma Snowsill. Always there are other people caught up and for 21 year old Emma Jackson it must be a bit daunting to be achieving a childhood dream yet to see so many of the triathlon community supporting someone else who’s place she has taken in the team. Jackson knows, however, that this does not mean she won’t receive the full support of the Australia public at the Olympics and that it is normal for people to have views on the selection.
Born in in Brisbane, Queensland in 1991 Jackson grew up going to the Holy Spirit Primary School. She was fortunate to receive a sport/academic scholarship to St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School for years 10-12 of high school. Apart from recently basing herself in Europe during the Southern Hemisphere’s Winter she has always lived in Brisbane. Jackson grew up with brother Luke, four years her junior, and still lives at home with him and her Mum. Boyfriend of three years, Drew Box also races ITU triathlon.
Photos courtesy of Delly Carr / ITU Media
What does it mean to you to be named as a member of the Australian Olympic Team?
To be named as a member of the Australian Olympic team is a dream come true. It is such a great honor to have the opportunity to represent Australia at an Olympic Games, especially in a sport Australia has so much depth and history in. This is only the fourth Olympic Games triathlon will feature in so it is great to be a part of such a select group of athletes who have raced for Australia at the Games.
When did you know you wanted to represent Australia at the Olympic Games?
When I was younger, around 7 years old I started off competing in swimming and then moved onto running. In both of these sports I always wanted to represent Australia at the Olympic Games as this is the pinnacle event for any athlete. I always loved watching the Olympic Games on TV as a kid and thought how cool it would be to be like those athletes representing their country. It wasn’t until I watched the Triathlon event at the 2008 Olympic Games that I really knew I wanted to race for Australia at an Olympics. I was only very new to the sport then and still learning and improving as a junior athlete and watching that event really inspired me to want to become an elite triathlete and have the opportunity to represent Australia.
How has the postponement of naming the Australian Triathlon team for London 2012 affected your preparation?
I have tried not to let the long selection process effect my preparation at all for the Olympic Games. Since the end of the 2011 season my focus has always been on London in the hope that I would get selected to compete. Once I found out I was nominated but the announcement was going to be postponed due to an appeal I didn’t spend much time thinking about it or getting distracted, instead I focused on my training as no matter what the decision I knew I had important races coming up in the future, whether it be London or not.
There was a groundswell of support for Emma Snowsill to be picked in the team. Has that affected you at all?
To be honest I have tried to stay away from reading media regarding the selection of the team simply because I didn’t want to let it affect me. I think I have done this well and been able to focus on myself and what I can control and not let things I can’t control get in my way.
Are you a medal chance? You seem to have been a bit off your game recently. Tell us about where you are at with London preparations right now.
I want to go into the London Olympic Games being in the best shape I possibly can to ensure I have the best performance on the day. If that means a medal then that is great, if that means a win then that is even better. Unfortunately a couple of my races this year haven’t gone to plan but like I said earlier my focus since the end of 2011 has always been the London Olympics in hoping I was selected. I am currently in a big block of training and will be for a while leading up and preparing for the Games. I am happy with how my training is going so far and believe I am on track with my London preparations.
Last year you finished a strong fourth in the London round of the WTS despite being almost a minute down on the swim. Tell us about this race.
I learnt a lot from the London race last year which I hope to take into the Olympic Games. Unfortunately I didn’t have the best of swims but I know what I could have done to make it better. Fortunately the race came together and I was able to finish fourth, being the first Australian across the line. I know in London this year that I want to be up the front and not leave it to the final stages of the bike leg to be in contention for the win.
In your eyes has Helen Jenkins improved since London 2011?
Helen Jenkins will definitely be one of the biggest threats come race day. Â She is such a dominant force over all three disciplines which is why she is a great athlete and the 2011 World Champion. She knows how to win on the London course and I am sure like most athletes she has improved and only got stronger for the 2012 Olympic Games.
It is often said that you are not a great bunch rider and as a result tend to not be as aggressive as you should on the bike leg. Obviously last year in London you posted a very fast bike time but you were playing catch up. Is this the case? If so what are you doing to rectify it?
My bike confidence is the most important thing I am working onÂ as it is my biggest fault. My coach and I are happy with my skills on the bike however when I get to racing in a bunch I get nervous around other athletes who don’t have the best skills and this makes me hesitant and resort towards the back to try and stay clear. It is something I will always continue to work on and hopefully with more experience in racing I can become a more aggressive rider and go to the front of the pack around the better riders and use the bike leg to my advantage.
What is the support like from your fellow Australian team mates?
Currently I am in Aix Les Bains, France with some of the Australian team and I was fortunate to be with them when the announcement came out about the team. They have all been very supportive and happy for me and only wish the best for my preparation and Olympic experience. The support has also been overwhelming from fellow people involved in the sport and the general public. It really helps knowing that there are a lot of people out there supporting you and hoping for the best.
Emma’s ITU Results
|26/05/2012||DNF||2012 ITU World Triathlon Madrid|
|10/05/2012||14||2012 ITU World Triathlon San Diego||2:01:59|
|14/04/2012||33||2012 Dextro Energy World Triathlon Sydney||2:04:04|
|10/03/2012||1||2012 Devonport OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships||1:56:36|
|19/09/2011||5||2011 ITU World Championship Series Yokohama||1:59:57|
|9/09/2011||12||2011 ITU World Championship Grand Final Beijing||2:00:43|
|21/08/2011||6||2011 Lausanne ITU Team Triathlon World Championships||0:20:25|
|20/08/2011||2||2011 Lausanne ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championships||0:58:35|
|6/08/2011||4||2011 ITU World Championship Series London||2:00:51|
|16/07/2011||2||2011 ITU World Championship Series Hamburg||1:53:44|
|29/05/2011||6||2011 Brasschaat ITU Triathlon Premium European Cup||1:59:44|
|8/05/2011||15||2011 Monterrey ITU Triathlon World Cup||1:58:56|
|9/04/2011||24||2011Â ITU World Championship Series Sydney||2:03:48|
|26/03/2011||25||2011 Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup||2:08:10|
|6/02/2011||8||2011 Kinloch ITU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup||1:10:53|
|16/10/2010||11||2010 Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup||2:06:26|
|8/09/2010||1||2010 ITU Triathlon U23 World Champs Grand Final Budapest||1:58:07|
Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall
European dominance of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona has continued but not as the pre-race script had been written.
While Switzerland’s “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made it three Kona victories, it was not defending champion Jan Frodeno’s day, with the men’s championship title transferring to fellow countryman Patrick Lange.
Coming from a nine-minute deficit off the bike, Lange revelled in near perfect conditions to write himself into the IRONMAN history books to destroy the course record set in 2011 by Australian Craig Alexander, with a 2:39:59 marathon that helped deliver a total race time of 8:01:40.
In a record-breaking day, Aussie Cameron Wurf won the battle of the bikers taking control of the race at the 110km mark and leading into the bike/run transition to set a new bike course record of 4:12:54, more than five minutes faster than Normann Stadler’s 2006 record.
Wurf surrendered his lead early on in the run, as Lionel Sanders (CAN and Sebastian Kienle (GER) made their presence felt, but very quickly all eyes turned to a charging Patrick Lange who had moved into third at 21km of the marathon intent on reducing the six-minute deficit to the leading Sanders.
Lange was on a mission and keen to improve on his third place last year and with 5km to go on the run he flew past Sanders, heading for town and the adoring crowd lining the run course and the finish line on Ali’i Drive.
“It’s everything I ever dreamed of. Oh, my god, I cannot believe it,” Lange said. “I always, always, always since I was a child dreamed of having this crown. From time to time you think someone is hitting with a baseball beneath your knees and you just want to drop out. I had to fight, I had to fight so hard,” Lange said at the finish line.
A fading Sanders managed to hold off the hard-charging David McNamee (GBR) for second with Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) crossing the finish to take fourth and fifth.
Swiss miss Daniela Ryf joined an exclusive club at the IRONMAN World Championships, recording her third win in Kona with a very skilful and strategic victory that while remarkably effective, lacked her usual flair and total dominance.
Ryf didn’t have it all her way, with Lucy Charles dominating the swim and majority of the bike before Ryf decided that enough was enough. Ryf wrestled the lead off the Brit and charged home with the fastest run of the day, putting a nine-minute gap to her chasers by the end of the 42.2km run.
“It was the hardest I had to ever fight for the win. I’m so happy to turn it around today,” a more emotional than usual Ryf said at the finish line.
Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win
Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) earned championship titles with momentous performances today at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lange passed Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the final three miles, clocking in at 8:01:40 and establishing a new course record (formerly 8:03:56 by Craig Alexander, 2011). Ryf earned her third consecutive crown with a time of 8:50:47, joining an exclusive “three-peat” winners’ circle alongside the newest IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Over 2,350 athletes from 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents started the IRONMAN World Championship race on the Island of Hawai`i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.
Lange, who raced in only his fourth IRONMAN to-date, had an incredible ascension after having been 17th out of the swim in today’s race. Shortly after the swim, a pack of strong cyclists including Sanders, Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) broke away from the group. Wurf would sail into T2, shattering the 2006 bike course record held by Normann Stadler (4:18:23) with a 4:12:54 split. Sanders and Kienle also smashed the record with 4:14:19 and 4:14:57 split times, respectively. On the run, Sanders took a quick lead as Kienle fell into second. Meanwhile, Lange moved from 11th place to a steady third-place position by the half-marathon marker. Lange then made a decisive pass at mile 23 on the run, as he moved ahead of Sanders to take a hold of the lead, finishing strong in first place. With a 2:39:59 run split, he was only 14 seconds away from breaking the run course record he set last year (2:39:45).
Sanders hung on for second place, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:04:07. David McNamee (GBR), Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) rounded out the top five.
McNamee had the second fastest run split of the race with 2:45:30, helping him clinch a third-place podium finish by more than two minutes ahead of Kienle.
Defending champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno dug deep after back spasms slowed him first to a complete stop and then run/walk pace, mustering enough strength to finish the race.
Lucy Charles (GBR) led the professional women out of the water with a 48:48 split, missing the course record by only five seconds. After a speedy transition, Charles took the lead on the bike and had an approximately a five-and-a-half-minute lead over defending champ Daniela Ryf (CHE), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Annabel Luxford (AUS). This pace remained consistent down the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway until Ryf attacked, making up over five minutes over the final 25 miles of the bike, which positioned her at the front of the pack. Ryf then greatly extended her lead on the run, with Charles, Crowley and Heather Jackson (USA), fighting for the remaining podium positions.
Ryf took first at 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her own 2016 course record time of 8:46:46. Calling on her epic running abilities, the Swiss star claimed her third successive IRONMAN World Championship victory.
Charles, a Kona rookie, maintained her second-place position throughout most of the run and ultimately to the finish. Crowley rounded out the top three in her second-ever appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship, finishing her race exactly two minutes behind Charles. Jackson and Kaisa Sali (FIN) rounded out the top five women.
Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017
It’s never an easy day out when racing any Ironman race let alone the World Championship. Then add in some hot and humid weather and you really have a very tough set of conditions.
Here are some of the amazing images that were captured during today’s race.
Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017
With the backdrop of the most infamous course in the world, the Ironman World Championship bike course never misses by the providing the most amazing landscapes for the bike course. This year was nothing short of spectacular.
Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Beats Sanders by a Hair for the Win & New Record
The results are in. The 2015 and 2016 winner of the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, Jan Frodeno, suffered an injury early in the run today. This is when the world turned its eyes to Lionel Sanders of Canada, who led most of the race. That is, until the final few kilometres, when Germany’s Patrick Lange took the lead, setting a new world record of 8:01:39.
Lange came in 3rd place in the 2016 championship, following Frodeno and Sebastian Kienle, both from Germany.
As of this writing, 2015 and 2016 women’s winner Daniela Ryf is leading the women with 14km to go with Britain’s Lucy Charles behind her. This is Charles’ first Kona championship as a professional.
Sanders came in 14th and 29th place in the 2015 and 2016 races, respectively. Today was his first time making the top 10 in Kona. Earlier this year, Sanders announced that he would not compete in Kona. Later, he had a change of heart.
2017 has been a good year for Sanders. He competed in August’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship, and a few Ironman 70.3’s. He won every race except the St. George 70.3, where he came in 2nd place.
Trizone predicted that Sanders would do well this year. After losing Kona in 2016, he decided to take this year’s championship very seriously. Sanders has been the wild card of the race.
Congratulations to Lange and Ryf, and to Sanders for his unexpected near-win.
Ironman World Championship: Are We Stuck with Jan Frodeno & Daniela Ryf in Hawaii Again?
It’s time again for another Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The triathletes have already arrived on the Big Island, and sports news sites are speculating about who’s going to interrupt the winning streaks of Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf.
Frodeno & Ryf Are Each Going for their 3rd Consecutive Kona Win
Both Frodeno and Ryf were the winners of the 2015 and 2016 races. Frodeno pulled ahead of Germany’s Sebastian Kienle by 3:32 in 2016 and Andreas Raelert, also from Germany, by 3:03 in 2015. In the 2016 women’s race, Ryf led Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae by 23:44. She beat Britain’s Rachel Joyce by 13:02 in 2015.
Most of Ryf’s Rivals Dropped Out
Many of Ryf’s past competitors are not competing this year. Carfrae has a newborn baby. Canada’s Heather Wurtele, who opted out of this race, came in 3rd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, leaving Ryf in 4th. The winner of that race was Holly Lawrence of Britain, who is also not competing this year.
Ryf’s Competition Could Still Be Fierce
The three rivals for Ryf to look out for are Heather Jackson of the USA, Rachel Joyce of Britain, and Melissa Hauschildt of Australia. Hauschildt made 2nd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and Ryf finished behind her by 3:00 to land 4th Place.
In the 2013 70.3, Jackson won 2nd place, losing to Hauschildt by 5:12. Ryf came in 6th, finishing 3:27 behind Jackson.
Who Should Frodeno Be Afraid Of?
The conversation around Jan Frodeno centres around two other German guys, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange. Kienle won the 2014 Hawaii championship. Frodeno settled for 3rd place and followed behind Kienle with 8:20:32 vs 8:14:18. USA’s Ben Hoffman came in 2nd place.
These are the guys Frodeno has to worry about most.
Frodeno’s Possible Wild Card Nemesis
Another contender who could give Frodeno a run for his money is Lionel Sanders of Canada. He won 11 out of 11 races in 2013 and has won a lot of them since. Sanders, who almost skipped this year in favour of the 70.3 World Championship, missed the top 10 in Kona for the past two years in a row. He said he did not take the championship seriously in 2016, and he vows to do better this year.
Sanders is known for rapid improvement and the ability to surprise people with wins in the races he truly sets his mind to winning. He’s also known for performing below expectations now and then. Rest assured, he’s serious about Kona this time. He would not have signed up otherwise.
This May Not Be Totally Boring After All
Well, this is the data. We can leave it up to the reader to decide who will win Hawaii’s Ironman.
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