Dan Hoy won the silver medal at the U23 Oceania Sprint Championships in Penrith on Saturday finishing just two seconds behind Matthew Roberts (AUS) while fellow Kiwi Sam Ward came home in 6th place.
The medal for Hoy matches the silver he won in the Junior category at the recent Oceania Championships in Gisborne, the young Aucklander is already on the Tri NZ Junior Team for the World Championships in Cozumel later this year and also bagged the National Schools title in his final race at that level, taking out the U19 title in Queenstown just over a fortnight ago.
In the women's race (again combining U23 and elite women on the one start line), Elise Salt (Cambridge) finished in 5th overall and Katherine Badham (North Harbour) was 9th.
Conditions were overcast and cool for racing, with the temperature feeling colder than the 18 degrees thanks to the wind, although the water was a reasonably warm 22 degrees for the swim leg.
The men's race saw a fast swim, with eventual winner Matthew Roberts establishing a ten second lead on the main group but all the main contenders soon joined together on the bike to form a strong lead group. Sam Ward punctured near the end of the bike leg, almost causing him to crash on one of the final corners and then lost a little time coming into T2, but it could have been much worse had the flat occurred earlier in the bike.
Tri NZ Lead Coach Jon Brown was in Penrith with the team and described the effort of the young New Zealand team.
"Dan raced well, he positioned himself superbly on the bike and had a very good transition to come out with a 30 metre lead heading on to the run, he was only caught halfway through lap two and then ran side by side with Roberts until the last 200 metres, when the Aussie just had the better legs in the end. Sam did well to stay on the bike when he punctured late in the bike leg and minimized the lost time coming into T2 to stay in contention.
"The women's field was very small and it broke up early due to the fast pace set by the Aussies. Elise rode strongly in the chase group with two other Australians but could not stop the lead extending to two minutes at T2. Katherine became isolated during the swim but has to be commended for her mental strength in riding the entire bike solo and in doing so holding good time against the girls in front of her, before running strongly to the finish, again making up time on many in front."
Salt ran home strongly in fifth place, despite having to serve a ten second penalty for a transgression during the race. The race was won by Jaz Hedgland (AUS).