Sydney, Australia (April 14, 2012) - Australia's Erin Densham proved her incredible World Cup win in Mooloolaba wasn't just a one-off performance in Sydney, when she blitzed the field in the run again to claim her first ITU World Triathlon Series win and further stake her claim for Olympic selection.
In another brilliant run just three weeks after her turn in Mooloolaba, the 26-year-old powered ahead in the final kilometre to take the win from reigning ITU World Champion Helen Jenkins, while Andrea Hewitt collected her sixth straight ITU podium, taking bronze.
Coming off her impressive World Cup win, Densham exited the swim in the top 15, rode with the leaders in a huge front pack before exiting T2 in the lead and quickly went ahead in a group of seven that included Jenkins, Hewitt, Mariko Adachi, Emma Moffatt, Ainhoa Murua and Laura Bennett. Densham set the pace from the start, and in the final three kilometres it came down to the Australian and the women who finished #1 and #2 in the overall ITU World Championship standings last year. Hewitt was the first to drop, before Densham went clear of Jenkins with one kilometre to go. It's another exclamation point on an impressive comeback from corrective heart surgery she had after the Beijing Olympics. Densham said she hoped it would put any doubts concerning her form to rest.
The first ITU World Triathlon Series event of the year started with a wetsuit swim early on Saturday morning, and Adachi was first out of the water with a 20-second lead. While two large groups initially formed, a lead pack of 29 and a chase of 24, Nicola Spirig led the first chase and halfway through the 40km bike leg she had helped to pull that group up to the leaders, including Gwen Jorgensen and Emma Snowsill.
From there a huge pack of over 50 athletes hit T2 together, and it all came down to the run. Densham posted the fastest split of the day, 34 minutes and 28 seconds, to win by four seconds from Jenkins, in a total time of 2 hours 01 minute and 29 seconds. The first four women all posted sub-35 minute times, as Jorgensen ran through the field to collect fourth. Australia finished with four athletes in the top 15, as Ashleigh Gentle ran her way into the top ten, while Ainhoa Murua and Anne Haug posted career best finishes, and Kathy Tremblay her best series results since 2009. Adachi ended up ninth, a strong performance after capturing the Asian Championships last weekend, staking her claim for a spot on the Japanese Olympic team.
Dextro Energy World Triathlon Sydney - 14 April 2012
Final Results - Elite Women - 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
1. Erin Densham AUS 02:01:29
2. Helen Jenkins GBR 02:01:38
3. Andrea Hewitt NZL 02:01:45
4. Gwen Jorgensen USA 02:02:12
5. Nicola Spirig SUI 02:02:19
6. Ainhoa Murua ESP 02:02:26
7. Anne Haug GER 02:02:32
8. Kathy Tremblay CAN 02:02:34
9. Mariko Adachi JPN 02:02:39
10. Ashleigh Gentle AUS 02:02:40
Photo Credit: ITU