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Australia’s Olympic triathlon bronze medallist Erin Densham has opened up a lead of almost 500 points in the race for this year’s ITU World Triathlon Championship after her hard fought fifth placing in today’s sprint round in Stockholm.
Just three weeks after her stirring London bronze, Densham lined up with her fellow Olympians Emma Moffatt (24th) and Emma Jackson (33rd) in the short course race (750m swim; 20km bike; 5km run) around the picturesque Swedish Olympic city of 1912.
With Series front runners, New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt and Switzerland’s Olympic champion Nicola Spirig opting out of the race, it allowed Densham to steal a march on the title race and with just two rounds remaining in Yokohama next month and the Grand Final in Auckland in October, Densham sits on top of the Series with 3611 points ahead of Hewitt (3141) and Spirig (3109).
Today’s race saw home town hero and Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden race away with the victory ahead of Dutch newcomer Maaike Caelers and Chile’s experienced Barbara Riveros Diaz in front of a large crowd that lined the streets, bridges and waterways to cheer on the competitors.
Densham was always in contention and was in the top three out of the water and off the bike but couldn’t maintain her momentum around the five kilometre run course, holding on well to finish fifth.
Densham, struggling to draw breath after the race said she delighted to be the new Series leader but admitted it was one of the toughest races she had ever experienced.
“Oh my God….that was so hard,” said Densham, who will now line up for Australia in tomorrow’s Mixed World Championship Teams event.
Meanwhile Great Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Jonathon Brownlee raced away with the men’s race ahead of Spain’s Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez with rising young Frenchman Vincent Luis taking the bronze, while young Australian pair Dan Wilson and Aaron Royle, the new breed of Australian triathlon racing, put together outstanding races to finish 10th and 11th respectively.
Brownlee (3825) now leads the Series pointscore ahead of Russian Alexander Bryukhankov (3285) and Gomez (2905).
Images courtesy of Triathlon.org | Delly Carr / ITU and Janos M.Schmidt
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