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Roberts in red-hot form

Kate Roberts is on fire. The 27-year-old BSG triathlete was edged off the podium by a mere two seconds at the fourth leg of the 2010 ITU World Championship Series race in Hamburg.

Going into the race ranked 12th in the world, she’ll no doubt be moving up in the rankings after this performance. Amongst the vanquished left in the dust of South Africa’s best ever female triathlete, were the likes of Emma Snowsill, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2007 world champion (Snowsill finished 25th), training partner and seventh at the Olympics, Daniella Ryf and America’s Jenna Shoemaker.

A total of 66 women took to the River Alster to kick things off, with American Laura Bennett and Emma Moffatt going right to the front. The leaders were unable to force much of a break, and after 18:16 in the water, they hit T1 with a gap of only a few seconds on a group of over 20 women. The only major player absent from the front  bunch was Aussie Snowsill, who exited the swim 50 seconds back of the leaders.

Roberts training partner, Lisa Norden of Sweden had to chase to get with the lead group, but once there she was not to be gotten rid of. It came down to a sprint finish between Norden, World N01 Emma Moffit and Irland’s Aileen Morrisson, with Roberts, Vicky Holland and Andre Hewitt right on their heals.

Norden won, covering the 1500-metre swim, 40km bike and 10 km run in 1hr 53min 53sec ahead of Moffit (1:53:53), Morrisson (1:53:55) with Roberts given fourth ahead of Vicky Holland, but both given the same time of 1:53:57.

Roberts’ fourth place is the best ever position by a South African female triathlete on the World Circuit, and no doubt her constant improvements will add to her confidence. which in turn will enhance her performances further. If she is able to maintain this form and even improve, Roberts could well find herself being a dark horse for a medal at the World Championship Grand Final in Budapest from 8-12 September.

A resurgent Hendrik de Villers paid the price for too much intensive training and his wheels came off on the run after a solid swim. ÔÇ£I was out of the water in the first third of the field but on the bike the elastic snapped somewhere and we had to chase really hard for two laps. After that it was cat and mouse, hard, then easy. Hard again, then easy.ÔÇØ

The race was clearly a hard one as some of the bigger names called it quits, amongst them Courtney Atkinson and Bevan Docherty. The race was won by Javier Gomez.

Results
Men
Swim                  Bike                   Run                  Total
1 Javier Gomes                  16:47                  56:12                  29:17                  1:43;07
2 Jan Frodeno                  16:45                  56:09                  29:38                  1:43:23
3 Tim Don                           16:48                  56:09                  30:06                  1:43:57
SA finishers
36 Hendrik De Viliers         16:56                  56:01                  32:04                  1:45;53
43 Erhard Wolfaardt         17:11                  55:52                  32:54                  1:46;53

Woman
1 Lisa Norden                  18:43                  59:56                  34:19                  1:53:53
2 Emma Moffit                  18:16                  1:00:20         34:23                  1:53:53
3 Aileen Morrisson         18:28                  1:00:09         34:19                  1:53:55
South Africa
4 Kate Roberts                  18:35                  1:00:00         34:24                  1:53:57


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