NZ in top 10 in world triathlon championships

An under strength New Zealand team fought all the way to finish

tenth at the ITU World Mixed Team Championships in Stockholm this

morning as Great Britain resisted all challengers to retain their

crown.

With current world number two Andrea Hewitt not racing in Stockholm

and Kate McIlroy picking up a calf injury in the individual ITU

World Triathlon Series race the day before, tenth place represented

a hard day’s work for the New Zealanders with Kris Gemmell,

Ryan Sissons, Nicky Samuels and young Rebecca Kingsford flying the

flag and giving their all for the silver fern.

The increasing depth in the sport was evident with 23 teams on the

start line and the New Zealanders finishing ahead of traditional

powerhouses such as Australia and Canada and just 49 seconds behind

the 5th place Swiss in a compact field outside of the medal winners

Great Britain, France and Russia.

22 year old Kingsford had only flown in the night before following

the withdrawal of McIlroy and acquitted herself well in elite

company, clocking a time just 30 seconds slower than Samuels on the

tight and technical course.

The event is scheduled to appear at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

and is on the agenda for inclusion at future Olympic Games.

Athletes and fans will get a taste of the fast paced and exciting

format at various events throughout the New Zealand summer,

including the upcoming Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon

Grand Final, with a team’s event open to all-comers with

entries online at www.triauckland.co.nz

Attention now turns to the final two ITU World Triathlon Series

events on the calendar and the race to find the world champions.

Andrea Hewitt is in second place in the women’s points with

just Yokohama and then the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World

Triathlon Grand Final in Auckland to come, setting up a potential

world championship chase on home territory.

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