Jodie Stimpson claimed first place in the Devonport OTU Sprint Triathon Oceania Championships this weekend with a time of 1:03.34, marking a fantastic return to competitive racing.
Taking part in her first international triathlon since she came fifth at the ITU Grand Finals last year, an event that saw Jonny Brownlee crowned the overall season champion, Stimpson recovered from an average swim to record the fastest run of the day, helping her overcome American rival Gwen Jorgensen by almost a minute. Forming a group alongside teammate Aileen Reid of Ireland, Stimpson’s bike time was impressive but it wasn’t until the run section that she was able to get clear. Jorgensen moved up the field but she wasn’t fast enough to catch Stimpson, who took away the 1,250 AUD prize.
Stimpson’s last win was in September last year at the Guatape World Cup and has since endured an 18th place finish at Yokohama. This early-season win, part of Stimpson’s winter training, puts her in good stead for the international season which begins in April, where all eyes will be on the return of the all-conquering Brownlee brothers. Stimpson, however, was just happy to get 2013 off to a good start. She tweeted that she was “happy to take the win” and congratulated her fellow podium triathletes Jorgensen and Reid.
“There were very hard hitting waves in the swim, which made it very challenging,” said Stimpson after the race. “Coming into the beach to run to T1 I saw my team mate, Aileen Reid, in front followed close behind by Gwen Jorgensen, so I knew I needed to have a good transition. I really had to push hard to catch Aileen, and managed to drop Gwen, so we both made the most of it.”
The 24-year old was overlooked for the Olympics, British Triathlon preferring to pick domestiques to assist Helen Jenkins, who finished fifth. Katie Hewison, who also missed out, failed to finish the Australian triathlon, dropping out after the cycling stage.
Elsewhere, it was good news for a number of age group participants in the Cogne ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships. Taking part in a form of the sport that generally involves a 6km run, 12km mountain bike ride and 9km of cross-country skiing, Debbie Trafford claimed gold in the 25-29 year old group and Kelley Hanvier did likewise in the 35-39 group. Sarah Thomas, a silver medallist in the 2012 European Championships, grabbed a bronze. Paul Pickering finished fourth and Richard Gentry finished fifth in the men’s 25-29 group, whilst Mathew Collins and Jason Hill both ended in tenth place in their respective classes.
It was revealed in the news and via Twitter this week that current Ironman and Ironman 70.3 champion, Leanda Cave, has developed a mild form of skin cancer. Sport Britain wishes her a full recovery, yet it has become clear the risks triathletes put themselves under by competing in direct sunlight for long hours.