Olympic heroes in form for Commonwealth Games

Olympic heroes in form for Commonwealth Games

By ITU Admin on 05/02/06 at 12:00 am

Athens silver medalist Bevan Docherty edged out Olympic champion Hamish Carter to win the Contact Energy National Triathlon Championships near Taupo today.

The pair hit the front midway through the 10km run with Docherty out-sprinting Carter in the final straight in front of his hometown crowd in idyllic conditions at Kinloch.

New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games team enjoyed a strong hit-out ahead of next month’s race in Melbourne with Whangarei’s Samantha Warriner winning the women’s title.  Her Melbourne-bound team-mate Andrea Hewitt was second with Canadian Jill Savege third.

Taranaki’s Clark Ellice finished third in the men’s race.

Docherty, Carter, Warriner and Hewitt were all pleased with their performances six weeks out from the Commonwealth Games race.  It was a hoot to win in front of my hometown crowd and my main sponsors, Docherty said.

It was pretty awesome today. But I am not getting too carried away. 

The aim is six weeks aware and I still have a lot to do. Hamish and I key off each other and we both had a solid race.

Canadian Colin Edwards and Gisborne veteran Stephen Sheldrake tested the talented field when they pushed clear on the three-lap 40km bike, opening up a 1min 30sec advantage.

Carter and Docherty were well positioned in the main chase pack and hauled back 40 seconds on the first of four laps on the 10km run around the scenic lakeside settlement.

They were joined by defending champion, 23-year-old Ellice (New Plymouth) as they hauled in the Canadian midway through the run, with the Olympic heros going head to head before Docherty out-kicked Carter for the win.

The pace was quite weak on the bike today and Hamish and I were hauling them through in the end.  I just played a waiting game on the run and sat on Hamish.  It’s superb to win at home and good to be back in good form.  Now I have really got to hurt myself in the next few weeks and have to rise up another level to be competitive in six weeks time.

Carter, in his first race since placing fourth in the world championships in September, was pleased with his effort.

I am further ahead than I thought.  It’s hard to know just where you are at in training and so overall I am really pleased, Carter said.

That first race back is always hard.  I felt quite strong on the bike and the run and I think I am well set up six weeks out.  I don’t usually run that well in my first race. It’s pleasing.

Warriner joined Hewitt (Christchurch), Melbourne reserve Nicky Samuels (Whangarei) and Savege in a breakaway pack on the bike.  They opened a five-minute lead over the chasers.

Warriner, the world No 7 ranked triathlete, broke clear early on the run to win in 2:04.17, more than a minute clear of world under-23 champion Hewitt with Savege 150m back in third.

That was solid.  It was okay.  I was not that happy with my swim start but the four of us worked well together on the bike, Warriner said.

I’m pleased overall with six weeks to go although I need to lift my game to another level if I am to challenge the Aussies in Melbourne.

Andrea had a good race and if we can work together like this in Melbourne anything could happen.

Wellington’s Martin Van Barneveld (Wellington) and Anna Hamilton (Auckland) won the under-23 title while William Curtayne (Auckland) and Oceania under-23 champion Rebecca Spence (North Harbour) won the under 19s.

Triathlon New Zealand run national titles for elite u/23, u/19 and age group divisions, with the elite chasing a record prize purse and the organisation using the event to unveil their new branding.

FULL RESULTS: www.triathlon.org.nz/results
For further information: Ian Hepenstall, Sports Media NZ,
Tel 021 613181,
Email: ianhep@xtra.co.nz