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
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.