QUEENSLANDER Brittany Dutton has won Australia's first gold medal of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing after staging a gutsy solo bike breakaway to claim the women’s triathlon.
In hot and humid Nanjing, Queenslander Dutton made her decisive break on the fourth and final lap of the 20km bike course and quickly put 20 seconds on the rest of the field. Despite a fast finish from the USA’s Stephanie Jenks, Dutton stayed strong and held on to win one of the first medals of the Nanjing 2014 Olympic Games.
Photo Credit: Brittany Dutton
“It’s awesome, I still can’t believe it,” Dutton said. “Throughout the bike I could see maybe I might be able to get away so I tried it and I got away. On the run I just had to hold my lead and it worked.
“I have strong cycling background so I thought I would give it a go, (I) had nothing to lose and I tried it and I stayed away….and towards the finish I thought I might be able to pull it out of the bag… and I did.”
With wet but humid conditions meeting the competitors, It was Japan’s Minami Kubono who led the non-wetsuit swim out of the water, and was followed by Australia’s Brittany Dutton, Germany’s Kristin Ranwig, Great Britain’s Sian Rainsley and Venezuela’s Katherine Vanesa Clemant Materano. In the first lap, Spain’s Carmen Gomez Cortez bridged up to the leaders.
That group of six worked together strongly across the first two laps of the technical course in Nanjing, keeping a second group that included the USA’s Stephanie Jenks, New Zealand’s Elizabeth Stannard and France’s Emilie Moriera steady 20 seconds behind.
But on the fourth lap, Dutton decided to make a break and behind her the two chase groups merged. It put Jenks and Morier right back in with the leaders and they ran themselves onto the Youth Olympic podium.
Photo Credit: Scott Taylor/ITU
In a field of 32 competitors from around the world, Dutton never looked like being caught, bolting home in 59:56 ahead of Jenks in silver (1:00:33) and Morier in bronze (1:00:55).
Dutton’s golden breakaway victory continues Australia’s stellar success in women’s triathlon competition at the Olympic Games.
Australian women have long been queens of triathlon, winning a medal at every Games since Sydney 2000, including the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where Ellie Salthouse won silver.
Emma Snowsill became the first Australian to win Olympic triathlon gold, and is here in Nanjing as an Athlete Role Model for the YOG.