Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snowsill repeats in Mooloolaba

The bid for history was again derailed by three-time world champion Emma Snowsill who today won the BG Triathlon World Cup season opener in Mooloolaba. In the first head-to-head battle between Snowsill and rival Vanessa Fernandes, it was the home favorite who triumphed. Fernandes settled for silver, approximately 39 seconds behind. Last year’s under23 world champion Lisa Norden of Sweden had an incredible run to take the bronze, becoming the first Swede to ever podium at a world cup in ITU history.

Snowsill and Fernandes were in the lead pack throughout the swim and bike and ran side by side for the first five kilometers. Snowsill made her move on the third lap when she cranked up the pace up the hill. Fernandes didn’t respond and let Snowsill get away to take her seventh career world cup title and second straight in Mooloolaba.

“The first race of the season, you just try to blow the cobwebs out. I’m so happy I feel myself again. The problems have dropped away. I feel like I’m back where I want to be,” said Snowsill at the finish line. “Everyone always says it would be great to have a head-to-head with Vanessa [Fernandes]. And I was thinking, ‘Great here it is. I’ve got to try and kill myself in a sprint finish with Vanessa.’ Home crowd advantage is a great thing.”

Fernandes meanwhile just tried to look on the bright side.

“Last year I was third and this year I was second. So that is better,” said Fernandes, who for the first time was second in a world cup, despite finishing third three times before. “I tried to go first at the beginning but Emma [Snowsill] was very strong and was faster then me. I was feeling really good the first two laps and then I think I broke a little bit and she ran away.”

Norden, who broke through last year with a seventh place at the Rhodes BG Triathlon World Cup, beat several world cup veterans for her first appearance ever on the world cup podium.

“This was far more then I expected today. I’m absolutely stoked,” said Norden. “I just wanted to try to run with the fast girls today. I just wanted to see how fast they run.”

The Swede becomes the first Team BG athlete to medal at a world cup. The Elite Athlete Development Programme (EADP) provides financial and team support to athletes from developing National Federations.

“I really hope that I can show that there are a lot of talented athletes who do not have the support. There is a lot of talent out there that we need to look after.”

2008 Mooloolaba BG Triathlon World Cup
Elite Women – Unofficial Results
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Gold - EMMA SNOWSILL Australia 2:00:44
Silver - VANESSA FERNANDES Portugal 2:01:22
Bronze - LISA NORDEN Sweden 2:02:07

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