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The three Kiwis racing at the latest round of the ITU World Cup circuit in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary have come away with some valuable experience.
Tony Dodds, Bryce McMaster and Mikayla Nielsen all qualified for the finals after surviving the new format of sprint semi-finals and finals racing over two days.
In this morning’s men’s and women’s finals (NZ time) McMaster was the best of the group, finishing 13th while Nielsen was 18th and Dodds was forced to pull out mid-race due to illness.
Triathlon New Zealand Assistant Coach Stephen Sheldrake is in Hungary with the team and was pleased with the Kiwis’ efforts.
“Today was a tough challenge for all three of them. They quickly reacted to the exciting new format of very fast racing. Our initial goal was to make it through to the finals which they all managed to achieve,” Sheldrake said.
“Overall it was a very good result for Mikayla considering her age [just turned 18]. She had a fall coming out of the water which meant she missed a bunch early on the bike which would have been an easier ride.
“Bryce swam well and made the front group who all worked together well. It’s a good result for him and shows he’s progressing well.
“Tony has been suffering from a stomach bug all week and feeling pretty flat. He really pushed in yesterday’s semi-final which I think just drained all his energy for today’s final.”
Tiszaujvaros celebrated its 16th anniversary on the ITU circuit this year with an innovative new twist.
The total number of entries decided the number of semi-finals, with two women’s semi-finals and three men’s semi-finals. Every semi-final qualified a fixed number of athletes for the final and additionally a number of athletes qualified based on the best times, creating a final field of 30 in both men’s and women’s racing.
In yesterday’s semi-finals reigning World Junior (U19) champion Nielsen raced superbly over the sprint distance, coming home fourth to comfortably book her spot.
In the men’s semis McMaster was even more impressive, winning the second semi-final with Dodds racing comfortably for 7th place in a fast third semi-final to also qualify for the final.
McMaster is still racing under the banner of the ITU as he finalises his change to racing under the New Zealand flag from his previous allegiance with Australia, but is very much a part of the Tri NZ High Performance Programme.
Full results and information can be found at www.triathlon.org
ITU World Cup
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
1. Pierre Le Corre (FRA) 51:54
2. Aurelien Raphael (FRA) 52:05
3. Anthony Pujades (FRA) 52:10
4. Ryan Fisher (AUS) 52:17
5. Igor Polyanskiy (RUS) 52:19
13. Bryce McMaster (NZL) 52:48
DNF Tony Dodds (NZL)
1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 58:39
2. Maaike Caelers (NED) 58:43
3. Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) 59:19
4. Charlotte McShane (AUS) 59:24
5. Anja Knapp (GER) 59:31
18. Mikayla Nielsen (NZL) 1:00:28