By Kent Gray/
From mid-year pain in Europe to continued late-season perfection in Phuket, Amelia Watkinson has signed off a challenging year in style.

The 31-year-old Sunshine Coast-based Kiwi made it three wins from as many starts at the Launga Phuket Triathlon on Sunday, adding to previous wins at the prestigous Thailand event in 2016 and 2017.

Watkinson completed the steamy 1800m swim, 55km bike and 12km run course in 2:39:48 to win by 7mins 39s from Dimity-Lee Duke  (2:47:27) with another Australia, Felicity Sheedy-Ryan, rounding out the podium in 2:51:06.

It completes a memorable comeback from a broken elbow following a bike crash in Europe in late June after Watkinson finished runner-up at both the Garmin Noosa Triathlon and the Ironman 70.3 Melbourne the two previous weekends.

“The way to end 2022  3 from 3 wins at @lagunaphukettri,” Watkinson wrote on social media.

Speaking previously to, Watkinson identified Challenge Wanaka on February 18 as a likely early 2023 race, after surgery in late January to remove the “hardware” used to stitch her elbow back together. Thereafter, more middle-distance racing on the soon-to-be-announced PTO circuit and the Ironman 70.3 worlds in Lahti, Finland next August will be key targets.

Previous champions in Phuket include Paula Newby-Fraser, Nicole Hackett, Jan Frodeno, Greg Bennett and Greg Welch.

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