By ITU Admin on 17/03/06 at 12:00 am
AUSTRALIA, Melbourne The sun peeked out and the clouds vanished as things heated up for the mens competition of the 2006 Commonwealth Games triathlon this afternoon at St. Kilda beach in southern Melbourne. A sea of 250,000 spectators came out in the sun, lining the course to cheer on the athletes.
Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia made it an Aussie sweep of the gold medals by claiming the top spot in the mens race in a time of 1:49:16. He was followed closely by Bevan Docherty of New Zealand, who finished second in a time of 1:49:26, and third place Peter Robertson of Australia, who finished in 1:49:32.
It was a big team effort. I trained a lot with Robbo and we worked out our tactics, stated Kahlefeldt. I felt great. I was first in the World Cup two weeks ago. I knew I had a good shot at winning.
The men dived into the crisp waters of Port Phillip Bay donning their wetsuits as cooler overnight temperatures lowered the water temperature to 19 degrees Celsius. Paul Tichelaar of Canada quickly headed to the front of the group, leading for the duration of the swim.
Coming out of transition one, a group of thirteen athletes formed early and stayed together for the entire forty kilometres of the bike leg. In this group were Kahlefeldt, Docherty, Robertson, Tim Don (ENG), Hamish Carter (NZL), Kris Gemmell (AUS), Brad Storm (RSA), William Clarke (ENG) and Tichelaar. Storm was the only athlete who tried to stir the pot with an unsuccessful breakaway attempt during the second of five laps.
Having come into transition two as one pack, Carter was the first out on the run but his lead was short lived as Robertson took off like shot in an attempt to duplicate his 2005 ITU World Championship performance. The group was on to his tactic though and Don, Docherty, Kahlefeldt, Gemmell and Clarke quickly reeled him in.
We had Simon [Thompson] controlling the ride and full credit to him, said Robertson. We knew before the race that Brad [Kahlefeldt] and I were running well, so when we got on the run I didnt want to let Simon or Australia down.
The run was painted with attack after attack and the athletes slowly dropped off one by one until only Kahlefeldt, Robertson and Docherty were left. It was at kilometre five, the same spot Snowsill made her move earlier in the day, that Kahlefeldt made the defining surge, breaking the string between him and the two others.
With Kahlefeldt running to victory it was left to Docherty and Robertson to battle for the silver medal. It was exactly that as Robertson surged again and again and Docherty pulled him in every time. At the finish, it was Docherty who made the final move edging out Robertson at the line.
It was an amazing race between me and Robbo and it panned out exactly as I thought it would except for Brad winning, was Dochertys comments on the race. It was great to run with Robbo and get one up on him. Im stoked with the result.
Athletes from smaller nations such as the Solomon Islands reveled in the experience of competing in a major Games. They were seen signing autographs and taking pictures with fans after the event.
2006 Commonwealth Games triathlon Men
1.KAHLEFELDT, Brad (AUS)1:49:16
2.DOCHERTY, Bevan (NZL)1:49:26
3.ROBERTSON, Peter (AUS)1:49:32
4.DON, Tim (ENG)1:49:38
5.GEMMELL, Kris (AUS)1:50:10
6.CARTER, Hamish (NZL)1:50:35
7.CLARKE, William (ENG)1:50:42
8.TICHELAAR, Paul (CAN)1:50:51
9.HAYES, Stuart (ENG)1:50:53.18
10.DE VILLIERS, Hendrik (RSA)1:50:53:96
Stay tuned to triathlon.org for full race results and pictures.
Find more details about this event - 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games