Three years ago Helen Jenkins left Beijing unsatisfied with her Olympic performance but today she took care of unfinished business as she claimed her second career ITU World Championship title. By finishing in second place, she maintained her lead in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series and was crowned the ITU Triathlon World Champion for 2011.
But New Zealand’sAndrea Hewitt
stole the show on the day, putting in her best
race of the year to capture only her second series race title after Madrid in 2009 with a time of 1hour 58minutes and 26seconds – which was the exact same time that
recorded to win the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold
medal. And with Canada’s
an early withdrawal from the race, pulling out
in the first lap of the bike, and Chile’s
falling off the pace in the run, it was
enough for Hewitt to move into the overall world championship silver medal
position with 3836 points.
Jenkins, who won her first ITU World Championship in
2008, now joins company like Emma Carney, Michellie Jones, Karen Smyers and Emma Moffatt as women who have won two ITU world titles.
was a really tough day, I’m so happy. I just didn’t have it in the end to go
past Andrea, it would have been awesome to take the win here but I’m just so
pleased just to win the world champs again, amazing,” Jenkins said.
just had a really big kick down the end that I couldn’t hang on to, I tried to
go with it and then, my legs just went. It was a really tough day, the front
group we all worked really hard on the bike and for once the breakaway stayed
away and I think it shows that if we all do commit on the bike it can
work…this is a course that you have to be strong over all
three disciplines and if you’ve got any weakness, like you could see today, you
just end up at the back of the race.”
year I was so close to getting on the podium for the world champs series, so
this year coming second, it just makes up for everything,” Hewitt said. “From
the start of the run, I led the first km and then as soon as she passed me I
just hung on to her and I knew I had a little bit more energy when it came to
the last part, so I went for it soon as I came into the stadium.”
The battle for bronze in both the Grand Final race
and the overall series standings was far from settled though, as both were
decided in the final few hundred metres. In the race for the grand final podium,
Switzerland’s Melanie Annaheim outsprinted Lisa Norden, Laura Bennett and Kate McIlroy to capture her first ever series medal.
just amazing, I have no words at the moment, just ‘wow,'” Annaheim said. “I like
it hilly, not so much like London so it was a good course for me and just a
10th place was enough to put her 23 points ahead of Jackson, who was overtaken
by Moffatt in the final few hundred metres to finish 12th. Groff finished with
2783 points to Jackson’s 2760.
am absolutely shocked, my first response upon crossing the finish line was ‘I
just want to get to the medical tent’. That was a really really tough day, my
coach is going to be so mad at me for running sub-par,” she said. “As of a few
days ago I was contemplating, kind of calling it a season and I have to say
I’m absolutely delighted I continued. My flight was delayed a day, but I waited
the next day and got on the plane and raced and I’m just shocked, it’s nice to
know that consistency pays off. I’m absolutely honoured to be on the podium with
two such phenomenal athletes.”
The battle for places was on from the start in a
fast swim, with a total of this 70 women dove into the Shisanling Reservoir in
the Changping district near Beijing. Jenkins quickly moved to the front,
alongsideKerry Lang they drove a fast-pace which splintered the group
early. A total of 15 athletes exited together, including Jenkins, Groff, Hewitt,
Annaheim, Mcllroy, Norden, Bennett, Liz Blatchford, Vicky Holland, Debbie Tanner, Kate Roberts, Alice Betto, Flora Duffy, and Tomoko Sakimoto. Only Holland and Roberts dropped off over the
40km bike leg.
A chase pack that included Moffatt, Jackson, Riveros
Diaz, Snowsill and Nicola Spirig then couldn’t put any time on the lead group in
the bike. Even with Spirig battling up front, the gap spread from 30 seconds on
lap one to a 2-minute difference at T2.
that lead it was always going to be hard to catch anyone in the front group as
Jenkins and Hewitt pulled away in the second lap to seal the top two positions
in the Grand Final and overall ITU World Championship. But the tense battle then
did emerge for bronze.
Diaz was still in that medal position in T2, but she ended up finishing in 42nd
place, almost seven minutes down from the leaders as Groff moved into third
overall and Jackson fourth. Riveros Diaz still held on to fifth place in the
overall ITU World Championship standings, Findlay ended up sixth overall,
followed by Moffatt, Bennett, Norden and Annaheim.
In other notable results, Jessica Harrison met France’s qualifying criteria for the
London 2012 Olympic Games with her 7th place, while Kate Mcllroy’s 6th place finish meant she also met New
Zealand’s qualifying criteria for the Olympics.
Results – Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Grand Final
swim, 40km bike, 10km run
– Andrea Hewitt (NZL) – Gold – 1:58:26
– Helen Jenkins (GBR) – Silver – 1:58:40
– Melanie Annaheim (SUI) – Bronze – 1:58:58
– Lisa Norden (SWE) – 1:59:00
– Laura Bennett (USA) – 1:59:02
– Kate McIlroy (NZL) – 1:59:04
– Jessica Harrison (FRA) – 1:59:09
– Liz Blatchford (GBR) – 2:00:11
– Flora Duffy (BER) – 2:00:24
– Sarah Groff (USA) – 2:00:37
Standings – 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU Triathlon World Championship
Champion – Helen Jenkins (GBR) – 4023 points
– Andrea Hewitt (NZL) – 3836 points
– Sarah Groff (USA) – 2783 points
– Emma Jackson (AUS) – 2760 points
– Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) – 2754 points
– Paula Findlay (CAN) – 2637 points
– Emma Moffatt (AUS) – 2611 points
– Laura Bennett (USA) – 2560 points
– Lisa Norden (SWE) – 2265 points
– Melanie Annaheim (SUI) – 1950 points