By World Triathlon Admin on 26/03/06 at 12:00 am
Home town girl, Annabel Luxford has won gold at the 2006 ITU Mooloolaba World Cup triathlon in a time of 2:01:10. Liz Blatchford from Great Britain pulled together a gutsy run to take second place with a time of 2:01:45 while the rising Kiwi star Andrea Hewitt took third in 2:02:00.
I was really excited to get a win. It was great to have the support of the local people, said Luxford, who trains out of nearby Brisbane and spends a lot of her time on the Sunshine Coast.
High surf and wicked tides from cyclone Wati forced the swim leg of the event to be moved to nearby Mooloolah River where conditions were also not ideal. A strong current made it difficult for the athletes to stay on course.
The current was crazy in the river but I guess you play the hand youre dealt, stated winner Luxford, who now sits atop the World Cup rankings.
This is the first ITU World Cup of the season for Liz Blatchford who was with the lead group for the entire race and put in a strong run to finish in a close second.
It was a tough day, its always a tough day in Mooloolaba with the heat and the hills, said Blatchford. I always like the hills though as it makes for a great race every time.
It was hot out there. I was taking water at every station, said reigning World U23 Champion Andrea Hewitt after finishing third in the race, only a week after her bronze medal performance at the Commonwealth Games.
Pre race favourite Emma Snowsill (AUS) chose not to race after various commitments, stemming from her gold medal performance at the Commonwealth Games, made her unable to prepare properly for the race.
The temperature soared to over 30 degrees Celsius for the womens race with no wind causing panic amongst local organizers as the finish line tape melted in the sun moments before the finish of the race. It was recovered and in place as Luxford crossed the line to an ecstatic crowd of 30,000 spectators, many of whom competed earlier in the day in the Mooloolaba age group race which had 2,500 participants in a series of events.
The next stop for the 2006 ITU World Cup series is Ishigaki, Japan on April 16th.
2006 ITU Mooloolaba World Cup Triathlon - Women
1.LUXFORD, Annabel (AUS)2:01:10
2.BLATCHFORD, Liz (GBR)2:01:45
3.HEWITT, Andrea (NZL)2:02:00
4.TANNER, Debbie (NZL)2:03:02
5.DILLON, Michelle (GBR)2:03:06
2006 ITU World Cup rankings
1.LUXFORD, Annabel (AUS)
2.BENNETT, Laura (USA)
3.FRANZMANN, Joelle (GER)
4.LISK, Ricarda (GER)
5.FERNANDES, Vanessa (POR)
Find more details about this event - 2006 Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup