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Kiwi triathlete Sam Warriner posted one of the fastest run splits in the field in claiming a superb bronze medal at the World Triathlon Championships in Vancouver this morning.
A stunning breakaway ride from Sara Haskins (USA) and Helen Tucker (GBR) looked to have put paid to any Kiwi chances at a cold and wet Vancouver this morning but Warriner drew on all her powers of determination to run into a podium place, her first at a World Championships.
The Beijing bound Kiwi is delighted at her form.
“I can’t believe my run, especially the finish. The Aussies sat on me the whole way and they and I knew they could both sprint. I tried to increase the pace on the last lap to make them work for it but both hung around. When Erin went I went with her and managed to come through on the inside to get third.
This is such a big boost to me to claim a medal in these circumstances, I can’t explain it. When Erin went I just threw everything I had into the sprint and never gave up, you can never give up. I am stoked.
“The swim and bike were very cold but we knew this and I took precautions to stay as warm as I could. The wind chill on the bike was really cold. My swim was good and transition got me in the main pack but it was too big to work and close the gap on the leaders.”
Warriner, Debbie Tanner and Andrea Hewitt found themselves 2 minutes and 2 seconds behind off the bike, along with the rest of the field after the breakaway ride from the American and Englishwoman distanced the field, including world number one Vanessa Fernandes.
Wellington’s Evelyn Williamson was withdrawn from the race when lapped midway through the bike leg in what is likely to be a disappointing final appearance at a World Championships for the veteran performer.
Conditions certainly played a part with the cold and wet proving too much for dominant world number one Fernandes. Despite exiting the bike in the main chase pack, the normally fleet footed Portuguese athlete made no impact on the run.
Tanner ran a strong second half of the ten kilometres to finish inside the top ten, one place ahead of the all conquering Fernandes while Hewitt faded on the run to finish in 25th place, just over four minutes down on Tucker who out sprinted Haskins for gold.
2008 World Triathlon Championships
H. Tucker (GBR)
S. HASKINS (USA)
S. WARRINER (NZL)
E. DENSHAM (AUS)
E. MOFFATT (AUS)
F. ABRAM (AUS)
S. GROFF (USA)
K. ALLEN (AUT)
D. TANNER (NZL)
V. FERNANDES (POR)
A. HEWITT (NZL)