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Roberts just misses Top 10

South Africa’s World No7 triathlete Kate Roberts will be disappointed with her 11th place finish at the ITU World Championship Series grand final in Budapest on Sunday after an extremely successful year in which she was only once finished out of the top 10 in five World Championship Series races.

The Grand Final would determine who would be world champion based on points accumulated over the six races prior to the Grand Final. Making it two races in one day, there was also the matter of the winner on the day.

Olympic Champion Emma Snowsill of Australia was too strong on the day leaving a group of 40 athletes, including Roberts, trailing in her wake on the final leg, which she covered in a blistering 33:08.

Kate was fifth out of the water, but had a slow transition, getting onto the bike in around seventh or eighth position. She was however still with the main group of around 40 cyclists. This group stayed together for the remainder of the 38.43km seven-lap cycle route.

Roberts moved up to the leaders of the pack as they entered the transition for the run and was well positioned for a quick transition. But no one expected Snowsill to fly away the way she did. Within 2km of the 10km run she was out on her own leaving the chasing bunch to run for the minor placings.

Roberts was very prominent in the first part of the run, but began to fade over the final 3km and ended up being passed by three athletes before the finish, missing out on a top 10 spot by 18sec to finish 11th in 1:52:13.

In the Junior Men’s race, South Africa’s big hope Wian Sullwald crashed on the final lap of the bike section as he was trying to move to the front of the field and that effectively ended his challenge.

Sullwald had high hopes for the Grand Final, after finishing eighth at the inaugural Olympic Youth Championships triathlon and winning the ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup in Bled.

Coming out of the water first, albeit by only a few seconds, Sullwald’s fellow South Arican Henri Schoeman was in his usual place, in front. Schoeman though was quickly joined by a huge bunch of 29 others on the bike, including Rudolph Naude (second at the ETU Junior European Cup in Bled) and Sullwald. The bike leg of 19.03km was covered in just over 26min, the bunch entering the second transition after an average of 26:20.

Naude was in the forefront of the race, exciting T2 in second position for the 5km run. According to High Performance Manager, Emma Swanwick, Naude probably pushed too hard, too quickly on the run and blew, finishing 25th overall. Sullwald, who is a strong runner, never found his rhythm after his crash in the cycle leg, and had too much time to make up, coming home in 48th. For Sullwald a very disappointing result. Schoeman finished three places further back.

Results
Elite women

1 Emma Snowsill Aus 1:49:43
2 Emma Moffit Aus 1:51:25
3 Nicola Spirig Swi 1:51:28
4 Lisa Norden Swe 1:51:28
5 Paula Findley Can 1:51:30
11 Kate Roberts SA 1:52:13

Junior Men
1 Fernando Alarza Spa 52:15
2 Thomas Bishop Gbr 52:17
3 Kevin Dowell US 52:22
4 Lukas Verzbicas US 52:36
5 Ron Darmon Isr 52:43
SA finishers
25 Rudolf Naude SA 53:41
48 Wian Sullwald SA 55:34
51. Henri Schoeman SA 55:50


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