Hewitt world class again winning silver medal
HHewitt world class again winning silver medal in year end world rankings
Andrea Hewitt has again shown her class and incredible consistency, winning silver on the overall ITU World Series Rankings for 2015, the fifth time in seven years that the irrepressible Cantabrian has stood on the year-end world ranking podium, reinforcing her reputation on the triathlon stage but also as one of New Zealand’s all-time leading sportswomen.
Hewitt moved to second place in the series thanks to a strong fourth place finish in the Grand Final in Chicago this morning, in a race that was brought forward four hours due to continued poor weather in the Chicago area.
Gwen Jorgensen (USA) again proved imperious in victory, racing to an undefeated season as she won at will, striding away from Non Stanford (GBR) and Vicky Holland (GBR) with two kilometres to run, her margin at the tape an impressive 29 seconds.
For Hewitt though it was another display of quality on a big day for the evergreen athlete, running clear of a chase group of four at the halfway mark and doing enough to leapfrog Katie Zaferes and Sarah True into the silver medal position.
“Showed that consistency put me in a good position for this race and then another strong performance today for fourth has done enough, I am still surprised I have finished second overall.
“I just wanted to have the best race I could, I went out a little conservatively on the run and then when I really pushed it I ran the majority on my own to come home fourth so I am really happy.
“The swim I was a little further back than I wanted to be, but the front group was 26 and because it was a big group it was tight around some of the corners. But we kept the gap to the second group and then it was down to the run. I didn’t know where Katie was because she was at the back on the bike and obviously she didn’t have such a great race today.
“It is amazing, I did only have two podiums this year but being consistent and near the front of so many races on the back of some strong swimming, that set me up for so many races, I am delighted.”
Hewitt and Tri NZ have been very much in Rio mode as the Olympic Games loom large on the horizon in 2016, this performance simply underlines her impressive credentials, with news expected in the next few weeks as to an early nomination to the NZOC.
Of the other Kiwis, Simone Ackermann (Whangarei) again raced consistently in her first season at the top level, coming home in 26th place to earn a final ranking of 50 in the world. Rebecca Spence also showed her improvement in her first season back in the sport after four years away to finish 43rd while Rebecca Clarke finished 45th.
There was further good news earlier in the day, with Deb Lynch finishing a strong 11th place in the ITU Under-23 Women’s World Championship, the Porirua athlete putting in a gutsy and determined display after crashing on the bike but remounting quickly.
After a strong swim had Lynch in the lead group on the bike, she took a tumble on one of the turns but in true Kiwi style was back up in seconds to rejoin the chase group, which eventually then caught the leaders.
In the Junior Women’s race that was brought forward with the pending thunderstorm hitting the area, Lizzie Stannard ran from the second pack off the bike to finish 23rd, Jaimee Leader was 24th and Katherine Badham 37th for the Kiwis.
For a group out of the National Talent Squad and with two experiencing a world championship for the first time, it was a great day of learning for all three at the highest level as they continue to aim for 2020 and beyond.
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