Sydney’s graduating nurse Emma Jeffcoat stole the show in China yesterday to win her second World Cup win of the season in Chengdu’s ITU Triathlon World Cup.
The two-day super sprint format comprising semi-finals on day one and a final on day two is racing over a 400-metre swim; a 10-kilometre bike and a 2.5-kilometre run to finish. And Jeffcoat, the former champion lifesaver from Dee Why, who won Mooloolaba in March was on song from the outset.
She executed her semi-final perfectly and delivered another impressive performance to repeat the dose in the final from the USA’s Tamara Gorman and Japan’s Fuka Sega with fellow Australian Tamsyn Moana-Veale seventh.
In the men’s race, won by Azerbaijan’s Rostislav Pevtsov who, after claiming the silver medal three years in a row, ran away with the gold medal in a race which saw Australia’s Brandon Copeland ninth and Marcel Walkington 12th.
But Jeffcoat’s tactics in the women’s race were simple – play to her strengths on the swim and bike and charge home over the final 2.5km run – and that’s just the way it turned out, much to the delight of coach Mick Delamotte.
After the swim, there was a lead group of four women who all worked together over the 10km bike course and after recording a quick transition onto the bike they strode out onto the 2.5km run, dominated by Jeffcoat.
The 24-year-old surged ahead to break away from the field for a near perfect day in the office en-route to next weekend’s WTS race in Yokohama.
“It was always my strategy to use my strong swim-bike to get away but I knew it might not work out that way, so I had to be ready to be adaptable no matter what happened,” said Jeffcoat, who has put her immediate nursing career on hold while she chases her triathlon dreams in the upcoming northern hemisphere summer.
“The four of us worked really hard from the start on the bike. We were all on the same page and we got away.
“I really love the sprint and super sprint format! It’s hard from the go and that’s how I race.
“I’m still really fresh to triathlon, so the Olympic (distance) is taking a lot more work to get there. “I am really happy with the win, the smile is back again.”
Gorman, who won the 2017 Tiszaujvaros ITU Triathlon World Cup in a similar sprint race format, displayed resilient performances across both days of competition verifying the young American triathlete launches into this season in her best form.
“It worked out perfectly coming in today. I was pretty confident with a really relaxed yesterday and I was happy to go out there and go hard the whole time,” said Gorman.
Japan’s Sega, who wears the bronze medal today, improved impressively on her 2017 performance here in Chengdu where she crossed the line into 20th place.
“I am so happy with my race today, it was my best,” commented Sega. Bogen sprinted across the finish line to secure fourth place today and Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs crossed in fifth position.