Two-time world champion Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) affected by injury for much of the year bounced back with a win at the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship at Western Sydney. She produced a trademark performance to claim the women’s title at the Sydney International Regatta Centre at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
Dan Wilson (AUS) who sparkled amongst a plethora of running prowess, took the men’s honours in his final race before retirement to focus on his academics.
Hauschildt came from five minutes back out of the water with her 2:15 bike the fastest by some distance, backed up with the best run to secure an exciting finish in 4:07.05. Two-time world duathlon champion Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (AUS) was prominent on the run as the pair came together until Hauschildt showed her strength to edge away in the closing kilometres.
“I was very emotional at the finish line because for a bit I had though my career might be over. But I just felt amazing out there. I was so great to be back.’’ said Hauschildt.
After some posturing by the likes of double world champion Michael Raelert early on the bike, nine headed on to the run together, including a stack of runners, set up for a mouth-watering 21.1km. Wilson, a former ITU athlete who has won twice over the IRONMAN 70.3 distance this year, made his move early to set up a telling break with his 1:12 run proving the best as he defended the win from 2016.
Multisport star Braden Currie (NZL) was near the front of the race throughout before he was edged out in a sprint finish by 2016 world champion Tim Reed in an exciting duel or the minors, with 80 seconds separating the trio.
Wilson smashed his own course record by more than three minutes in his final outing as a professional, beating Australian Tim Reed (3.14.33) and New Zealander Brayden Currie (3.43.36).
Source: Ironman.com and Daily Telegraph