Triathlon: Hewitt hoping for strong end to series on podium

By David Leggat

Andrea Hewitt. Photo / Greg Bowker
Andrea Hewitt. Photo / Greg Bowker

Andrea Hewitt is determined to end her year with a bang at the season-ending world series grand final in Edmonton tomorrow (NZT).

Ranked fifth for the series and long one of the sport's elite women competitors, Hewitt has the chance - depending on how events pan out tomorrow - of pressing hard for a podium finish.

Points in the grand final are effectively doubled and fourth-placed Helen Jenkins, of Britain, is not competing. Hewitt's second place finish in Stockholm in the penultimate leg of the event carried on a solid year of results.

"All year I've had the form. I have raced 12 times this year and never been out of the top six, but to get on the podium was another step so it was good to show I still have it last week," the Christchurch triathlete said.

When Nicky Samuels got her first world series podium finish in Stockholm, third behind American Sarah Groff and Hewitt, it gave her confidence a considerable fillip.

The Wanaka athlete had to fight to get to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after initially being overlooked. She fought her corner on appeal and won, then finished 10th in Scotland.

A solid result will keep her inside the top 10.

"It is all down to the race and a good result will give you a good finish in the world series. There is no need to focus on any of the calculations," Samuels said.

Glasgow hangs heavy around the athletes necks. There may be a high performance punch coming from the Games return, but for now there's no point banging on about events in the team relay, when New Zealand finished a disappointing fifth, 28 seconds off bronze.

"I went into Glasgow looking for a [strong] performance, but sometimes you have a bad day. For me that was Glasgow," New Zealand's leading male, Ryan Sissons, said.

At No14 now, his target is cracking the top 10.

The men's finish should be a belter, with Spain's Javier Gomez and Mario Mola, and Jonny Brownlee of Britain fighting it out for places on the podium.

World series standings
Men: Javier Gomez (Spain) 3833 pts 1, Jonathan Brownlee (Britain) 3551 2, Mario Mola (Spain) 3491 3. Joao Pereira (Portugal) 2938 4, Richard Murray (South Africa) 2911 5. Also: Ryan Sissons (NZ) 1558 14, Tony Dodds (NZ) 1021 24.
Women: Gwen Jorgensen (US) 3885 1, Sarah Groff (US) 3037 2, Jodie Stimpson (Britain) 2982 3, Helen Jenkins (Britain) 2903 4, Andrea Hewitt (NZ) 2735 5. Also: Nicky Samuels (NZ) 2046 9.

- NZ Herald

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