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Kiwis Steal The Show At Long Distance Duathlon Champs

Kiwis Steal The Show At Long Distance Duathlon Champs

Kiwi Mel Burke has won the ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland, upsetting her more fancied European opponents on their home soil.

A dominant effort over the 10km run, 150km bike and 30km run saw the 31-year-old Aucklander secure the title by more than three minutes.

Burke started fast over the opening 10km, entering transition second behind Denmark's Susanne Svendsen to effectively set up her day.

On the bike she rode her way to a 4min 27sec buffer, before another impressive run to hold on for the victory.

"I was afraid to be overtaken at the end of the race and I was only sure of winning two kilometres from the finishing line," Burke said after the race.

Further emphasising the quality of the win, the event was the first in almost a decade to combine both the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and International Powerman Association (IPA) titles, with the last such genuine World Championship event held 9 years ago in Austria.
Reigning champion Erika Csomor (HUN), denied an eighth Long Distance Duathlon World Championship title by Burke, had to make do with a bronze with Eva Nystrom (SWE) snatching silver.
Although Denmark's Susanne Svendsen, who took silver at August's shorter distance Powerman event in Zofingen, headed the lead pack in the first 10km run she faded in the last run following the 150km bike course and failed to complete the course.
The top three ladies matched Svendsen run for run at the front of the pack along with Martina Krähenbühl (SUI) and Netherland's May Kerstens until the first transition in the course, which has some interesting hills, twists and turns, including almost half of the second run taking place in a forest and the final three kilometres to the finish line all downhill.
But Oceania duathlon champion Burke set a blistering pace on the second bike lap shooting 2 minutes ahead of second-placed Nyström. Going into the final run Burke remained untouchable winning with a lead of three minutes 27 seconds over Nyström, who gave birth seven months ago.

Fellow Kiwi Adam Milne was on the podium with a bronze medal in the 20-24 age category.

In the non-title age group race Lucy Williams was second while Richard Day also finished in the top 10 in 7th place.


Powerman Duathlon World Championships
Zofingen, Switzerland
(10km run, 150km bike, 30km run)

Elite Women's World Championship
1. Melanie Burke (NZL) 7:11.43
2. Eva Nyström (SWE) 7:15.10
3. Erika Csomor (HUN) 7:22.42
4. May Kerstens (NED) 7:27.26
5. Ulrike Schwalbe (GER) 7:38.41

Elite Men's World Championship
1. Joerie Vansteelant (BEL) 6:07.15
2. Thibaut Humbert (FRA) 6:16.58
3. Andy Sutz (SUI) 6:18.28
4. Beat Ritter (SUI) 6:26.46
5. Soren Bystrup (DEN) 6:27.17

Men's Age Group World Championship (20-24)
1. Jan Baumgartner (SUI) 7:17.47
2. Daniel Bailey (GBR) 7:23.14
3. Adam Milne (NZL) 7:26.17
4. Alex Schwab (SUI) 8:48.56
5. Robert Smith (USA) 9:02.12

Women's Age Group Race (35-39)
1. Mari Chandler (USA) 7:58.53
2. Lucy Williams (NZL) 8:53.47
3. Claudia Krawietz (GER) 9:28.30
4. Elke Wessels (GER) 9:38.40
5. Melanie Buttner (GER) 9:40.21

Men's Age Group (40-44)
1. Philippe Lanfranchi (FRA) 7:01.29
2. Daniel Waldmeier (SUI) 7:08.11
3. Patrick Brenner (SUI) 7:08.47
4. Stephen Dupree (USA) 7:22.48
5. Luca Nascimbeni (ITA) 7:26.02
7. Richard Day (NZL) 7:33.04

ends

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