Aileen Morrison has finished a consistent 18th in the World Championship Series Final in Beijing at the weekend.
The result comes after her 18th place finish in the London test event in Hyde Park last month, and further advances her claim for Olympic qualification.
The most pleasing aspect of the result is Morrison’s strong showing on the bike today. The Beijing course is hilly and technical, and Aileen cycled strongly at the front of the chase pack, working with Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig and Australia’s Emma Moffat to get set for the run.
Morrison then posted a 35’38” 10K run split to come in 18th position.
The race was won by New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt, from Overall Series Winner GB’s Helen Jenkins. Melanie Annaheim of Switzerland was third.
“I just want to say thank you to TI Cycling Coach Tommy Evans” Aileen Morrison said following the race. “We’ve been working really hard on my bike, and the commitment and dedication Tommy has put in during the last few weeks really got me up that big hill the six times I needed to today”.
Morrison now heads for Yokohama in Japan, where next weekend she’ll be racing the WCS event that was postponed from May following the Japanese earthquake diaster.
Meanwhile, Gavin Noble finished 26th in his first ever World Championship Series Final in Beijing today.
Following a strong swim, Noble biked with approximately 40 others in the lead cycle pack. Intermittent rain made the hilly and technical course challenging for the athletes, with many of them returning to T2 with mud soaked faces. Noble ran strongly, much of the time with New Zealand’s Chris Gemmel and not far ahead of Ironman returner Chris McCormack of Australia. The 26th position result is a fantastic achievement in a field of the world’s best.
Furthermore, the result is both a strong confidence boost for Noble and with the Final attracting double ranking points, a strong forward step twoards his qualification for the London Olympic Games.
As another step forward for the Triathlon Ireland High Performance porgram, the 26th position is the best placed finish by an Irish male in a World Championship Series final ever.
The race was won in fine form by Team GB’s Alastair Brownlee, with the victory confirming his status as the World Chmpionship Series Winner as well. Switzerland’s Sven Rederer was second, with Jonathon Brownlee claiming the third place on the podium.