Irish triathlon and duathlon athletes raced in Turkey and Australia over the weekend.
A team of four elite athletes contesting the ITU Alanya World Cup and 18 age groupers representing Ireland at the ITU World Duathlon Championships in Adelaide.
Over the run-bike-run format, there was medal success for Harry McDermott in the 50-54 years Sprint World Championships.
McDermott was 16th in his age group at the 2014 World Duathlon Championships but improved on that with a time of 1:03:17 for the 5km run, 20km bike and 2.7km run. The category was won by Steven Wenzlick of New Zealand in a time of 1:00:33.
Along with McDermott’s medal there were three further Top 5 finishes with John Loughnane 13 seconds outside the medals in 4th place in the 30-35 years Sprint event. Eibhlin Fletcher finished in 5th place in the 40-44 years age group with Sheila Power 5th in the 55-59 years age group.
At the Alanya World Cup, top Irish male Bryan Keane continued his fight to remain in an Olympic Qualification position as competition intensifies in the run up to the May 2016 cut-off date. The Cork professional was part of a chase pack in the early stages of the bike but thanks to a concerted effort the group managed to bridge the gap to the leaders by the halfway mark of the 40km bike leg.
On the run leg, Keane clocked 33:08 for the four-lap 10km run which featured a tough hill on each lap, finishing 16th overall in a time of 1:46:38.
Standard Distance National Champion, Russell White was also racing and executed his plan as he emerged from the 1500m swim near the front in 18:39. A quick swim allowed White to join the leading pack in the early stages of the bike and from there he went on to finish a solid 45th from a field of 73 international elites.
Susanna Murphy improved on her previous World Cup outing with a 39th place finish in the elite women’s race. Murphy was competing in her fourth elite race and her first over the standard distance.
Cillian Tierney, 17, from Tralee earned his first international cap in the ETU Junior European Cup race. Tierney, who was recently 8th in the senior draft legal Sprint National Championships put in a quality performance as he came home in a time of 1:00:25 for 25th position. With the junior ranks catering for ages 16-19, Tierney was up against stiff European competition but showed great promise for the future.
Keane is currently on the cusp of an automatic qualification place for the Olympics in Rio next year. He will need to maintain good results as the race to qualification continues onto May.
The team at the World Duathlon Championshipd put in a very strong performance all-round with full Irish results below, age group in brackets.
(25-29) Kelly-Ann Speight, DNF
(35-39) Emma-Jane Hughes, 9th
(40-44) Eibhlin Fletcher, 5th
(50-54 Sprint) Elizabeth O’Connor, 6th
(55-59) Sheila Power, 5th, and Marie-Therese Speight, 15th
(25-29) Michael John Gombart, 18th
(30-34) Brendan Murphy, 8th
(30-34 Sprint) John Loughnane, 9th
(35-39 Sprint) Brian Brady, 6th, and Thomas Heal, 15th
(40-44 Sprint) Nigel Fanning, 13th
(50-54 Sprint) Harry McDermott, 3rd
(50-59 Sprint) Emmet Hart, 27th
(65-69) David Heffernan, 21st
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