After some years playing podium runners up to their Tasman cousins, the Aussie U23 Oceania team today charged home with two winners in the third annual ITU Penrith U23 Oceania Championships.
The Triathlon NSW organised ITU U23 Oceania Championships became an all Aussie victory day as NSW ITU Junior, Louth’s Brendan Sexton surged away from a gun field in hot and humid conditions to record 1:47:57 from Queensland duo, Dan Wilson and Sam Bretten in second and third.
Bill Curtayne was fourth O/R and first New Zealander home.
In a double victory for the Australian U23 team, Victoria’s Sam Beenie was too fast for the women’s field recording a winning time of 2:05:08 from Western Australia’s Felicity Sheedy-Ryan, home second in 2:05:46 and third placed Sarah Bryant from New Zealand who went 2:08:33 for third.
In a day of exciting racing, no fewer than six men were forced from the event in a number of high speed cycling accidents; though there were no serious injurires…
Conditions began warm and humid and turned hot and more humid as high cloud burned off creating an oven in the International Regatta Centre, built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The 1500 swim was held over 2 retangular laps in the main rowing basin, athletes heading into transition on the lake shore and onto the 8-lap fast and furious bike leg where race hopes were shattered for a few riders as they tangled around the 25km mark breaking up the pack, that then got back together in the final laps, the faster men all into transition to the run together.
It was Sexton who finally broke away; surging in ever hotter conditions to claim his first U23 Oceania title.
For the female winner, Sam Beenie, the day was all about consistency as she rolled out the day’s second fastest swim, biked to the sixth fastest time and then ran the day’s second fastest female ten kms to take a solid victory.
The leading Australian’s qualified to the Australian team to the World Championships in Hamburg later this year… and the speed and prowess of the ITU U23 Oceania atheltes was preceded by women’s only events, designed to bring new females into the sport of triathlon and a fabulous start to a big day’s racing!
Contact Nick Munting - RD - ITU Penrith U23 Oceania Championships.