Kiwis To The Fore in New Style Triathlon Format
Kiwis To The Fore in New Style Triathlon
All the New Zealanders racing at the latest round of the ITU World Cup circuit in Tiszaujvaros in Hungary have qualified for tomorrow’s finals, surviving the new format of two day sprint semi-finals and finals racing.
With New Zealand’s leading triathletes focused on the World Triathlon Series event in Hamburg next weekend and then the London Olympics, the spotlight fell on the next tier of talent and they rose to the occasion with Mikayla Nielsen, Bryce McMaster and Tony Dodds all qualifying for tonight’s finals.
Triathlon New Zealand Assistant Coach Stephen Sheldrake is in Hungary with the team and spoke highly of the format and efforts of his charges.
“Today was superb from this group of athletes; they all reacted well to a new and exciting format of racing that was fast and furious. Tactics played a huge part as athletes looked to do enough to qualify for the final but competition is such that you couldn’t really button off.
“Mikayla continues to learn what is required to race at this level and with every outing gains valuable experience while Bryce stamped his mark on his semi final with a fantastic win. Tony has been in great form of late and raced well in a very fast semi final.
“It is now a case of resting up and seeing what they can do in the finals tomorrow (tonight NZT). The initial goal was to make the finals, now we see what can be done when the medals are handed out.”
Tiszaujvaros might be the second longest running event on the ITU calendar, but this year it celebrates its 16th anniversary with an innovative new twist The iconic triathlon stop in Hungary becomes the first World Cup to be decided with the exciting new format.
The total number of entries decided the number of semifinals, and overnight saw two women’s semifinals and three men’s semifinals. Every semifinal qualified a fixed number of athletes for the final and additionally a number of athletes qualified based on the best times, creating a final field of 30 in both men’s and women’s racing.
Reigning World Junior (U19) Champion Mikayla Nielsen raced superbly over the sprint distance, coming home fourth to comfortably book her place in Sunday’s (tonight NZT) final.
In the men’s Bryce McMaster was even more impressive, winning semi final 2 with Tony Dodds racing comfortably in 7th place in a fast semi final 3 to also qualify for the final. McMaster is still racing under the banner of the ITU as he finalises his change to racing under the New Zealand flag from his previous allegiance with Australia, but is very much a part of the Tri NZ High Performance Programme.
Full results and information can be found at www.triathlon.org