Irish athlete Aileen Morrison finished 17th in the Dextro Energy International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships in Budapest today.
Morrison swam strongly and emerged from the murky Danube inlet waters among the lead bike pack. Soon into the cycle leg, the second bike pack closed in on the first pack, creating a large leading pack of over 30 athletes.
Morrison ran strongly, including a final surge that saw her gain five places on the final lap. The 17th position tops off what has been a pivotal year for Morrison, following her 5th place finish at the ITU European Championships in Athlone in July and her 3rd place in Rd 5 of the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series in Hamburg recently.
Morrison’s result places her 21st overall in the standings at end of the Dextro World Championship Series. Of the four races the Derry girl raced, she placed 26th in Madrid, 3rd in Hamburg, 16th in Kitzbuel and 17th in the final in Budapest.
Australia’s Emma Snowsill blitzed the Budapest field to win from Emma Moffatt and European Champion Nicola Spirig, who sprinted for the finish.
Moffatt’s second place secures her as the 2010 Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series winner.
Irish athlete and Beijing Olympian Emma Davis came home in 51st place.
Morrision and Davis are both vying for Olympic qualification for London 2012, and today’s race in one more step in what is a long and arduous qualification process. On current ITU simulated rankings, both would be on the start line in Hyde Park, but a great deal can change between now and then.
Triathlon Ireland remains committed to developing talented young triathletes with three young Irish competing in the Elite junior events today. Laura Casey, Ben Shaw and Russell White all turned in admirable performances.