By Oceania Admin Account on 16/03/15 at 11:22 pm
Gold Coast training partners Dan Coleman and Kelly-Ann Perkins have broken through for career best performances with impressive victories in their respective OTU Oceania Cup races at Mooloolaba today.
The two National Triathlon Academy athletes, out of the Dan Atkins Triathlon Performance Centre at Pizzey Park, showed the benefit “of lessons learnt” to finally taste the fruits of success over the testing Standard (Olympic) Distance course.
Today’s races started out with a 1.5km surf swim, off the southern end of Mooloolaba beach, followed by the unusual 800m soft sand run, before entering transition leading into the 40km out-and-back bike course and the 10km run.
Organisers moved the swim, to the protected southern corner away from the dumping 1.5m waves in the middle of the beach, but it meant the fields had to run a kilometre, including 800 metres of that along the sand, before starting the ride.
For Coleman, who has not been able to put his races together this season, today was the day that everything came together.
“I was really happy with the way I swam – that was the goal before the race – I had to be in the main group and I don’t think many expected me to up there with the top swimmers but I was able to stay there,” said the 19-year-old, who was third to yesterday’s World Cup silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle, in this race last year. The soft sand run was actually quite tiring coming up the beach, I thought it would have worked to my advantage but it really flogged you in the legs.”
It placed him in the second group, on the bike, and it was then a matter of keeping his head with the breakaway group of six riders holding a handy lead, reminding himself not to get too carried away and going too hard too early on the run.
He convinced himself it was important to make the right play at the precise time. “Christian Wilson and myself made the decision, coming onto the motorway on the bike, that we would hold back a little bit because we saw the big group coming from behind and waited for them to catch up,” said Coleman. I was 25 seconds behind heading into the run and knew the Canadian Matt Sharpe was experienced and had done a few of these races and once he stayed out in front on the run I didn’t really know how I was feeling. I just waited and played the game. At four-kilometres to go I knew I could pick up the pace and go past him and tried to extend the gap. After some disappointing races this year and a lot of lessons learnt it was a great feeling to win this one – my greatest achievement so far.”
Coleman raced away to win comfortably from Sharpe with Victorian Joel Tobin-White hanging on for a confidence boosting bronze medal.
The women’s race saw Perkins, the former champion surf lifesaving Ironwoman from the Sunshine Coast, also bide her time after trailing former Australian Open Water swimmer Danielle De Francesco by 1 minute 30 out of the swim.
“I tried to keep the swim a bit more reserved knowing that my run is my strength,” said Perkins. It’s pretty important to know your opposition, know what tactics they’re trying to play to and use your tactics to minimise advantage and I feel like I did that today. I love coming here and doing home races. It’s nice to be able to go back home on the Sunshine Coast and relax before leading into the race. The race feels like a training session than a race when I get to do it at home. Every race is a learning curve for me and I try to take as many lessons out of each race as I can. My bike is really improving and my legs allow me to run a bit stronger at the end now that the bike is up to scratch.”
Perkins led home an Australian quinella in the women’s race with Courtney Gillfillan storming home to take the silver medal with New Zealand’s Deborah Lynch, who worked hard on the bike to put herself in contention, taking home the bronze with Japanese veteran Olympian Kiyomi Niwata fourth and De Francesco, who led out of the swim and was first off the bike, holding on to fifth.
2015 Mooloolaba OTU Triathlon Oceania Cup, (1.5km swim; 40km bike; 10km run):
Daniel Coleman (AUS) 1:50.25 Matthew Sharpe (CAN) 1:50.52 Joel Tobin White (AUS) 1:50.56 Josh Izewski (USA) 1:51.02 Marcel Walkington (AUS) 1:51.10 Calvin Quirk (AUS) 1:51.27 Ben Cook (AUS) 1:51.49 Br5adon Copeland (AUS) 1:51.54 Drew Box (AUS) 1:52.00 Christian Wilson (AUS) 1:52.08
Kelly-Ann Perkins (AUS) 2:06.00 Courtney Gillfillan (AUS) 2:06.53 Deborah Lynch (NZL) 2:07.15 Kiyomi Niwata (JPN) 2:07.33 Danielle De Francesco (AUS) 2:08.19 Amanda Bohlin (SWE) 2:08.50 Laura Dennis (AUS) 2:09.22 Elise Salt (NZL) 2:11.49 Sarah Deuble (AUS) 2:12.05 Grace Deveson (AUS) 2:12.11
|3.||Joel Tobin White||AUS||01:50:56|
|5.||Danielle De Francesco||AUS||02:08:19|
Find more details about this event - 2015 Mooloolaba OTU Triathlon Oceania Cup