Jodie Stimpson had a dream start to the season with gold at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.
Helen Jenkins won bronze, demonstrating her class and setting up an enthralling battle for the third and final remaining British Olympic team slot next month.
Here’s a 4min highlights of the race:
Racing over the Olympic distance, athletes dived into the sea swim at the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club for a 1500m swim, followed by a 40km bike ride and 10km run. Jenkins had a superb swim, and Stimpson rode intelligently on the bike to get herself up to the front of the race by the start of the run.
Stimpson ran with Jenkins, Flora Duffy (BER) and Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) before making her move in the final 2km.
Commenting on the British Triathlon Olympic selection race on the Gold Coast next month, Stimpson added: “Me and Helen are great rivals. She’s a fantastic athlete and I have so much respect for her. We’re both in the same boat. Whoever has the best race in the Gold Coast goes, and if Helen beats me in the Gold Coast then she deserves to go and I can’t say more than that.”
Gentle won silver and Jenkins achieved an excellent podium finish after a season dogged by injury last year.
She said: “It shows that I’m moving in the right direction for our selection race in the Gold Coast. We’re going to fight it out and do our best, and that’s all we can do. I think I’ve got a little bit to improve in my run in the next few weeks.”
In the Men’s race:
Adam Bowden finished 11th in the men’s race, which was won convincingly by Mario Mola (ESP), despite a 15 second penalty for equipment not being placed inside his transition box between the swim and run.
British Triathlon has pre selected four athletes for nomination to TeamGB. Non Stanford and Vicky Holland met the automatic selection criteria, and Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee have also been selected. All four opted not to compete in Abu Dhabi in order to focus on preparations for the summer. Jonathan Brownlee is expected to compete on the Gold Coast.
Results, ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run, Saturday 5 March:
- Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 1:56:10
- Ashleigh Gentle, AUS, 1:56:19
- Helen Jenkins, GBR, 1:56:26
- Mario Mola, ESP, 1:46:39
- Richard Murray, RSA, 1:46:54
- Joao Silva, POR, 1:47:08
- Adam Bowden, GBR, 1:47:50
- Thomas Bishop, GBR, 1:49:25