Young triathletes to the fore

Taranaki age-group triathletes bagged two golds, three silvers and a bronze at the New Zealand sprint triathlon championships in Kinloch on Saturday.

Max Hardie-Boys won the men's 18-19 race, powering over the 750m, 20km and 5km course in a quick 1h 5min 51sec.

Shorty Clark was also in winning form enjoying the near perfect race conditions with a win in the men's 60-64 division. Clark's time was 1h 13min 18sec.

Emma Daniels won silver in the girls' 13-15 race in 1h 15min 48sec, with Helen Sturmer second in the 18-19 race. Evergreen Joy Baker also nailed a silver, finishing the 60-64 race in 1h 32min 8sec. The bronze was claimed by Janice McCallum in the women's 45-49 race in 1h 20min 46sec.

There was plenty of incentive to perform well on Saturday with spots to compete in this year's world sprint champs in London on September 21 up for grabs as well as New Zealand titles.

The selectors will now confirm with athletes whether they will be attending, as some athletes want to compete in the standard Olympic distance event instead.

Other Taranaki results were: Jess Leary, women's 18-19, 1h 21min 25sec; Claire Rinckes, women's 50-54, 1h 30min 15sec; Joshua Hannrahan, boys' 13-15, 1h 17min 48sec; Dylan Finnigan, men's 18-19, 1h 13min 01sec; David Lee, men's 20-24, 1h 10min 46sec; Max Gordon, men's 20-24, 1h 12min 30sec; Mick McBeth, men's 25-29, 1h 16min 01sec; Mike Tapp, men's 55-59, 1h 30min 40sec; John Eagles, men's 65-69, 1h 30min 3sec.

Laurent Vidal, from France, showed his class in a head-to- head battle with Auckland's Ryan Sissons in the elite men's race.

The pair came out of the water in the leading group of eight athletes which included another race favourite in Tony Dodds (Wanaka), but Dodds crashed at the first lap turn around.

The pair rode on and with ITU athlete Ben Shaw (currently transferring between Ireland and Australia) dominated on the tight and technical cycle course.

Initially on the run it looked like Sissons and Shaw might have too much pace for Vidal, but the world No 6 found his rhythm and took the lead midway before pulling clear to win.

McIlroy emerged from the water in a lead group of four but quickly went to work on the bike course and midway through was well clear of her rivals.

Results: Page 14

Taranaki Daily News