Australia’s Annabel Luxford has turned back the clock at the Multisport World Championships in Denmark’s home of Hans Christian Andersen with a hard fought bronze medal in the Long Distance event in Fyn.
Danish triathlete Camilla Pederson led the field through the three-kilometre swim in the Odense Harbour and through the first transition – closely followed by Luxford, eventual winner and local Danish hero Helle Frederiksen and Chile’s renown Olympian Barbara Riveros.
They headlined the women’s field as over 1,000 athletes contested the challenging World Championships long course event over 3km swim, 120.5 bike and 30.7km run.
The long course triathlon was the showcase event on the schedule and closed the 10-day multisport festival.
Out on the 120.5km bike course the group of elite women, which included, Luxford, Frederiksen, Pederson and Riveros, worked hard together.
Luxford maintained a strong lead position to bring the elite women into the second transition of the day.
Within the first kilometre of the run Frederiksen had moved into lead position and, motivated by the immense home crowd support which followed her across the course, established a remarkable gap (1-minute-22-seconds) on Luxford and Riveros.
Pederson dropped back into fourth position, 3-minutes-10-seconds down on the race leader.
Frederiksen was in a league of her own on the final stretch of the run with the Danish triathlete crossing the finish line to go one better than her who claimed silver in the Penticton ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship last year.
Luxford said it was a “tough but amazing race with so many people cheering. I am really happy with the bronze.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been on an ITU podium. Congratulations to Helle for such a strong and honest showing and to Barbara for her impressive form as a short course athlete and second place.
“I really enjoyed the distance and although I didn’t have one of my best races, it was sweet relief to put together a solid day after struggling with my health in May and June.
“The Danes were such a great crowd and riding through the countryside and then running the cobbled streets of Odense - home of Hans Christian Andersen- made for a pretty cool day. Thanks as always to my sponsors, family and friends.”
Meanwhile Australia’s age group athletes competed at the 2018 ITU Age Group Multisport World Championships (Odense, Denmark) in the Aquabike and Long Distance Triathlon events.
GOLD medals were awarded to Bundaberg’s Lucas Deer male 18-19 Long Distance Triathlon and Jonathan Hamwood in the 70-74 male Aquabike.
The 18-year-old former St Luke’s Bundaberg old boy, Deer, discovered his love for endurance sport at the after-school sport class.
From there, coach Rebecca Jenner and Dwayne Mackay encouraged Lucas to take up cycling, and eventually, triathlon events.
Lucas competed with the Wide Bay triathlon team, State Schools Championships, and with the Bargara Tri Club.
In the lead up to the Multisport Worlds, Lucas trained with award-winning coach David Tabernacle at SBR and before the trip to Denmark smashed his PB time at Challenge Melbourne, posting a time of 4 hours and 19 minutes.
Certainly, a bold and life-affirming way to spend his gap year; Lucas, who deferred university offer to concentrate on his elite athlete status, plans to start his Bachelor of Podiatry degree at La Trobe University in 2019.
Meanwhile there were medals were awarded to Claire Hawkins female 40-44 Aquabike and Paratriathlon duo John Domandl and Paul McGlynn in the Long Distance Triathlon event.
Top 10 place getters in the Aquabike event included Courtney Bicknell, Katrina Cousins, Ana Oertel, Basil Macreadi and Rowland Cook and Top 10 place getters in the Long Distance Triathlon included Anne-Maree Eastwood and Anna Willett.