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Christchurch Triathlete Andrea Hewitt has secured third place in the 2009 ITU Dextro Energy World Championship Series, following a gutsy 8th place finish in the final round on the Gold Coast of Australia today.
Hewitt needed to stay within 9 places of her closest rivals Sarah Haskins and Daniela Ryf to maintain her hold on bronze on the final race day of the season and she did so comfortably in a race dominated by the world number one and two Emma Moffat (AUS) and Lisa Norden (SWE) with the Aussie out running Norden in the final 200 metres for victory. Great Britian’s Helen Jenkins passed a tiring Haskins near the line to snare third.
The diminutive Kiwi was thrilled when the news was confirmed, especially after a mistake on the swim.
“I feel great but that race was so hard, we messed up in the swim when we went the wrong way around the first can and that wasn’t good for the start of the swim. I came back but then got caught on the second lap going through, I was in an okay position but it just didn’t happen.
“On the bike we tried to work, it was off and on and with the same amount of girls we should have been able to catch leaders but it just came down to the run and 8th was the best I could do.
“I could see the other girls but I didn’t know the points while out there, I just did my best to come through. I’m stoked to get third in the world though.”
The race was broken apart on the swim when a lead group of seven broke away and took a 25 second lead on to the bike and with Moffatt, Norden, Annabel Luxford (AUS) and Haskins amongst them, they slowly but surely extended their lead over the main chase pack.
That group included four Kiwis with Hewitt joined by Debbie Tanner, Nicky Samuels and Kate McIlroy and despite having renowned cyclist Daniel Ryf in with them they could not make an impression, ending the 40km bike over a minute in arrears.
Hewitt started the run conservatively in the hot and windy conditions, working in a group of four that included one of her main rivals Ryf before finishing strongly for 8th place and a treasured bronze medal in the World Championship.
Of the other Kiwis Kate McIlroy rounded out a stunning debut season in the sport with 12th place and 20th overall in the championship standings. Debbie Tanner was 15th for 18th overall, Nicky Samuels 22nd (27th) and Sam Warriner 28th (29th) after a season wrecked by injury.
ITU Dextro Energy World Championship Series
Gold Emma Moffatt AUS 1:59:14
Silver Lisa Norden SWE 1:59:19
Bronze Helen Jenkins GBR 1:59:41
4 Sarah Haskins USA 1:59:52
5 Annabel Luxford AUS 2:00:07
8 Andrea Hewitt NZL 2:00:26
12 Kate McIlroy NZL 2:00:54
15 Debbie Tanner NZL 2:01:37
22 Nicky Samuels NZL 2:02:27
28 Sam Warriner NZL 2:04:02
ITU Dextro Energy World Championship
Gold Emma Moffatt AUS
Silver Lisa Norden SWE
Bronze Andrea Hewitt NZL
18 Debbie Tanner NZL
20 Kate McIlroy NZL
27 Nicky Samuels NZL
29 Sam Warriner NZL