Australia’s Charlotte McShane has produced the finest World Triathlon Series performance of her short career with a fast finishing sixth in the opening race of the 2015 series in Abu Dhabi tonight.
The former ITU Under 23 world champion from Wollongong crossed the finish line in the UAE capital with a huge smile on her face after storming home over the five kilometre run with the equal fourth fastest run split of the day – 16 mins 53 secs.
McShane was well placed just outside the top 20 on the swim but was still over 50 seconds behind as she arrived in transition in the main chase pack off the bike for the start of the run with a host of runners in front of her.
Australia’s two-time world champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Emma Moffatt was 23rd in her comeback to racing.
McShane admitted she arrived in Abu Dhabi determined to enjoy herself, for a fresh start in a new year after a disappointing 2014, where she finished 36th on the WTS rankings and put too much pressure on herself.
“To be honest at the end of last year I didn’t think I was ever capable of doing anything like that again – but I came here ready for a fresh start, it’s a new year and to enjoy it and I’m happy,” said McShane.
“I’m excited (about the season) and I guess I have to learn from my experiences and get ready to race over the Olympic distance.”
The race was won by McShane’s training partner, defending world champion and ITU’s most successful ever WTS athlete, Gwen Jorgensen, who produced a phenomenal 5km run split of 15 mins 57 secs.
Her fellow US team mate Katie Zaferes was second with Bermuda’s Flora Duffy third, attaining her first WTS podium.
World Triathlon Series, Abu Dhabi, Women (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run):
1 Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 58:59 2 Katie Zaferes (USA) 59:15 3 Flora Duffy (BER) 59:23 4 Barbara Riveros (CHI) 59:37 5 Andrew Hewitt (NZL) 59.38 6 Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) 59.40 7 Charlotte McShane (AUS) 59:44 8 Yuka Sato (JPN) 59.48 9 Sarah True (USA) 59.51 10 Kaitlin Donner (USA) 59.53 23 Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:00.32
GOLD COAST TO HOST ROUND THREE OF THE WTS: The world’s best triathletes will descend on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia), as they take on round three of the International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series, on Saturday 11 April 2015.