Sunday, April 13, 2008

Snowsill & Densham Go 1-2 In Ishigaki

Australian superstar Emma Snowsill added to her extensive medal count today with a win at the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup. Snowsill led from start to finish claiming her eighth world cup title in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 11 seconds. In second place, 29 seconds behind, was fellow Aussie and Olympic hopeful Erin Densham. A further 1 minute 45 seconds back in third was young Hollie Avil of Great Britain in her world cup debut, nipping home crowd favourite Juri Ide of Japan in an exciting sprint finish. In fifth position was Canadian Kathy Trembley.

“I just wanted to get out there and get a second hit out,” said Snowsill after her win. “I felt like I had a bit more of a plateau, not so many ups and downs. I'm really happy, 2 for 2 what more can I ask for at this stage."

Right from the starter’s horn, Snowsill quickly moved to the lead of the 41 women field stringing out a long line of athletes. The only women able to keep up to her were the British swimming trio of Helen Tucker, Jodie Swallow and Kerry Lang. These four would lead the entire swim while the remaining women battled it out behind. Another Aussie Olympic hopeful Felicity Abram, was caught amongst the white water of the chasers and would withdraw from the race early in the bike portion due to stomach ailments.

This lead group of four would be joined by four more at the start of the 40-kilometre hilly bike leg. This small break away was quickly caught however by a Nicola Spirig-led chase group of ten. The Swiss powerhouse single-handedly reeled in the leaders by the end of the first lap, pulling eventual medalists Densham and Avil to within striking distance. This group would efficiently conquer the 14 hills on the course, increasing the lead to over two minutes between them and the chase group, containing pre race favourites, Debbie Tanner of New Zealand and Anja Dittmer of Germany, by the second transition.

In her usual style, Snowsill would struggle through second transition to fall almost ten seconds behind, but blasted to the front in the first 500 metres and would never look back with a blistering 33:23 final 10-kilometre run split to grab top spot and her 16th career podium. Densham dug deep to pull within 30 seconds of Snowsill, at the finish to persuade Australian Olympic selectors after a slow start to the season. Densham is one of four top Australian women fighting for two remaining Olympic spots. After battling over the final five kilometres 18-year old and reigning World Junior Champion Avil of managed to nip Japan’s Ide at the line for a bronze medal in her first world cup.

2008 Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup
Elite Women - Official Results
1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Gold – Emma Snowsill (AUS) 2:03:10
Silver – Erin Densham (AUS) 2:03:40 +:29
Bronze – Hollie Avil (GBR) 2:05:24 +2:14

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