Morrison's silver in Japan

April 18, 2011

Olympic scholarship athlete and Irish Olympic contender Aileen Morrison advanced her London 2012 campaign significantly on Sunday, winning a silver medal in the ITU (International Triathlon Union) World Cup Triathlon in Ishigaki, Japan. The result gives Morrison valuable qualification points toward her dream of representing Ireland in Hyde Park next August.

 

The full-time professional triathlete from Derry continues to deliver great international performances, adding this second place to a rapidly expanding resume which includes a Bronze medal in the Hamburg World Championship Series event in 2010, and a Gold Medal in the Antalya European Triathlon Union Cup race in Turkey two weeks ago.

 

The Ishigaki event was won by Chile’s Barbara Riveros Diaz, and Japan’s Kiyomi Niwata was third.

 

The race started in almost perfect conditions, 28 degrees celsius in the air and 23 in the water, and the attacks started right from the swim.

Kerry Lang (GBR), Line Jensen (DEN),Radka Vodickova (CZE) and Eri Kawashima (JPN) broke away in the water and took their lead into the bike.  Coming into fourth lap, the group has a sizeable 30-second gap. But the chase that included Riveros Diaz, Morrison, Mariko Sdachi (JPN) and Kirsten Sweetland (CAN) turned on the pace and within a lap had caught them. A total of 30 athletes then hit transition together.

But that mass run group didn’t last for long as Riveros Diaz made her move in the first lap, from there her incredibly efficient strides took her lead further on each hilly lap heading into the finish. A chase group that included Morrison, Niwata, Erin Densham (AUS) and Marina Damlaimcourt (ESP) tried to catch her but to no avail.

Morrison did pull away from the bunch in the final lap, to add another world cup podium to her quickly growing ITU resume, and said she couldn’t have been happier.

“Absolutely fantastic and delighted to stand on the podium,” she said. “A lovely place to do a race, in Ishigaki. Fantastic people, fantastic course.  It was really hard, yet loved it and am delighted I finished second.”

 

Fellow professional triathletes from the Triathlon Ireland Team also racing in Ishigaki were Gavin Noble who placed 16th, Emma Davis 32nd and Ben Shaw 48th. All three will also pick up coveted Olympic qualifying points for their performances. 

 

The result came as Triathlon Ireland played host to it’s European neighbours for the European Duathlon Championships in Limerick this weekend. The event saw the Limerick City Centre turned into a race track as athletes from more than ten nations competed in the Run-Bike-Run format racing. 

 

Triathlon Ireland CEO Matt McKerrow said “Morrison’s result further affirms her place as a force on the ITU Womens circuit”, and was delighted with the timing of the result. “It was fantastic to be able to proudly announce the result to the thousands of local triathletes and our European counterparts visiting in Limerick today”. 

 

Elite Women

1.

Barbara Riveros Diaz

CHI

 

02:01:57

2.

Aileen Morrison

IRL

 

02:02:19

3.

Kiyomi Niwata

JPN

 

02:02:34

4.

Marina Damlaimcourt

ESP

 

02:02:45

5.

Erin Densham

AUS

 

02:02:59

6.

Maria Czesnik

POL

 

02:03:15

7.

Jillian Petersen

USA

 

02:03:19

8.

Line Jensen

DEN

 

02:03:23

9.

Akane Tsuchihashi

JPN

 

02:03:25

10.

Non Stanford

GBR

 

02:03:39

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