Silver, bronze for New Zealand in Stockholm
Stockholm proved a happy hunting ground for the New Zealanders yesterday as Andrea Hewitt and Nicky Samuels won silver and bronze in the latest round of the world triathlon series, results that propel both athletes into the world's top 10.
The sprint distance race was won by Sarah Groff, a first victory for the American that moves her to second in the overall world rankings behind countrywoman Gwen Jorgensen.
It was Hewitt's first world series podium in three years and the Christchurch athlete looks in strong shape at the business end of the season as she moves to fifth on the world rankings.
"I was so happy, three years since my last podium - that is a lot of time," Hewitt said.
"Today was so hard, I just kept pushing and pushing and that sprint at the end up the hill was so tough. It was ideal for the Kiwis, we got out of the swim in the front group and we just kept pushing and pushing and our group was working really well together, we kept putting time into the second group and then on to the run, it was tough. We were only 10 in that front group at the end so there weren't many of us and we kept working to get that time going into the run."
It was Samuels' career best performance in a world series event and a first podium that propels the Wanaka athlete to ninth on the world rankings ahead of next weekend's grand final in Edmonton.
"This sort of course really suits us, the crisp cold water that sort of pains the face and then the rain on the bike and a tough run," Samuels said.
"I am coming into great shape now which is good timing especially with the world series final next weekend so hopefully I can hold it together for that. Not often you get two Kiwis on the podium so yeah, it was a really good day."
Simone Ackermann (Whangarei) finished 19th on the back of a strong sub 17 minute run over the 5km distance and Rebecca Clarke (Auckland) finished 28th.
In the men's race Tony Dodds (Wanaka) had his final hit out before Edmonton with a 14th placing while 19-year-old Sam Ward (Auckland) came home in 37th