Training partners Emma Jackson and Sam Betten made it a clean sweep for their Brisbane based training squad with solid wins at round four of the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series at Robina this morning over the sprint distance format 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.
It was the pair’s first appearance for this series and first race since Noosa Triathlon last October.
It was a come from behind victory for the World Under 23 champion after trailing out of the swim but showed her world class pedigree to easily win from Courtney Gilfillan who overcame a minute deficit on the bike to run into second from round three winner 16-year-old Brittany Forster.
“This is my first race back after my break since Noosa so it’s nice to do reasonably well.”
Jackson was third out of the swim behind Forster and swim specialist Maddison Allen but hit her stride on the first lap of the bike opening up a 38 second lead over the pair. Gilfillan was in fourth spot over a minute behind.
Once out onto the 5km run Jackson was not pushed and cruised to the finish.
Gilfillan put in a huge effort on the run to overhaul the deficit and moved herself into second spot relegating Forster to third place.
“The swim was pretty good, I just tried to stay with Maddy in the swim so I wasn’t too far behind, ride as fast as I could and see what I could do on the run,” said Jackson.
“There was a massive headwind going out on the bike and heading south on the run which made it tough, she added.”
Jackson will head to NZ in two weeks for a race in Kinlock in preparation for her assault on claiming her first elite title at the Sprint Championships in Geelong at just 19 years of age.
“It will then be another training faze before Mooloolaba and then Sydney,” said Jackson.
Betten emerged a few seconds adrift of the lead bunch in the swim but put in a solid performance to beat off emerging junior Jack Hickey and series leader Bryce McMaster.
The win didn’t come easy for Betten having just two words to say after he crossed the line, “that hurt”.
With no tactical race plan going into the race the Under 23 Australian team member says he just went as hard as he could until he blew up.
“I’ve just come off a really big training block and spent some time in Noosa training with the long course guys so done a lot of k’s, I had no idea how I’d go today, I would have been happy with a top ten.”
Betten’s next race will be the Geelong Sprint Championships at the end of February where is focused on claiming the Under 23 Australian title.
A group of five were first to exit the 750m swim, headed by McMaster, Hickey, Ben Shaw, Drew Box and Betten.
After the first lap of the bike the five had become three, Betten leading McMaster and Hickey through the next four laps of a testing course with a stiff headwind.
As they headed back into the final transition it was clear this trio would fight out the medals.
McMaster was the first to drop off the pace, Betten and Hickey ran shoulder to shoulder over the final 2.5km until Betten found an extra gear to kick away in the final 100m to win by just 4 seconds.
“I had just enough left in the tank to get home,” said Betten.
Gilfillan, Hickey and McMaster are also training partners under the guidance of Chris Lang’s squad at Southport which also boasts Brad Kahlefeldt who has returned to the Coast today.
The event attracted just over 1200 competitors taking part across the three distances.
The day also included the Enticer Triathlon which continues to be a popular choice those just keen on keeping fit and having some fun. Just for the kids The Courier-Mail Kool Kids Triathlon, again recording good numbers covering short distances that any child could manage making it a fun experience “100m swim, 2km cycle and 400m run.
Overall Results “Male
1. Samuel Betten Brisbane 59:03
2. Jack Hickey Gold Coast 59:07
3. Bryce McMaster Daisy Hill 59:32
4. Drew Box Kallangur 59:48
5. Ben Shaw Mt Coolum 1:01:37
Overall Results “Female
1. Emma Jackson Joyner 1:05:09
2. Courtney Gilfillan Gold Coast 1:07:48
3. Brittany Forster Miami 1:08:13
4. Allen Maddison Brisbane 1:09:03
5. Jenna Fulton Robina 1:12:53