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Kris Gemmell and Nicky Samuels proved the best of the New Zealanders at the latest round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Stockholm, finishing 13th and 16th respectively in the sprint distance race at a new venue for the series.
Gemmell was prominent in the bike leg as he worked hard to close a gap to the lead group out of the water, his hard work reflected in the fastest bike split of the entire field, but that effort took a toll on the 5km run with the Palmerston North athlete having to be content with 13th, it was however a course that the Kiwi enjoyed racing on.
“That was a great atmosphere in Stockholm today and a great course, very technical in areas on the bike, especially over the cobblestones. But that keeps the sport interesting and challenging and this was a true triathlon, I gave it my all.”
The only other Kiwi male in the race, Ryan Sissons endured a torrid day, coming home in 42nd place almost 3 minutes behind winner Jonathan Brownlee (GBR).
In the women’s race hometown favourite Lisa Norden stormed to an impressive victory but again it was a New Zealander doing plenty on the bike. This time it was Kate McIlroy who did much of the work to help reel in a breakaway group before the Wellington athlete was part of a 12 rider lead group.
Samuels raced consistently in her first hit out post London, and was also impressive on the bike and along with McIlroy was amongst the quickest over the technical 20km ride that included cobbles in some parts of the course. Samuels ran home in 16th place while McIlroy withdrew on the run and did not post a finishing time.
Australian Erin Densham finished 5th, ensuring that she sneaks ahead of Kiwi Andrea Hewitt into top ranking with two events still to race this year. Hewitt drops to second place in the race for the World Championship title after choosing to sit out Stockholm.
Tomorrow sees athletes line up again in the ITU World Mixed Teams Championship, with teams of 2 male and 2 female athletes combining one after the other on the same sprint distance course to find the best country in the world.
ITU World Triathlon Series
Sprint Distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run)
1 Lisa Norden SWE 1:00:36
2 Maaike Caelers NED 1:00:45
3 Barbara Riveros Diaz CHI 1:00:55
16 Nicky Samuels NZL 1:02:06
DNF Kate McIlroy NZL
1 Jonathan Brownlee GBR 54:24
2 Javier Gomez ESP 54:31
3 Vincent Luis FRA 54:35
13 Kris Gemmell NZL 55:41
42 Ryan Sissons NZL 57:19
For complete results, race review and preview of the Teams World Championships, go to www.triathlon.org
Sunday 26th August
2.46pm (Stockholm time)
Team World Championships
2 male, 2 female
ALL TIMES STOCKHOLM
Live coverage on SKY SPORT, check guides for details or visit www.triathlon.org for more information