Images: World Triathlon
By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi in Hamburg
Nicole van der Kaay and Ainsley Thorpe have guaranteed New Zealand at least two runners in each of the 30-strong fields set to chase World Triathlon Sprint Championship glory in Hamburg early Sunday NZT.
Van der Kaay was 5th and Thorpe 8th in Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2 respectively to advance to Sunday’s three-stage finale at what doubles as round six of the World Triathlon Championship Series.
Unable to sneak inside the top 10 to guarantee the luxury of an afternoon off, Olivia Thornbury, 24th in Q1, and Brea Roderick, 20th in Q2, will get a second chance in the women’s repechages later on Friday local time (from 6:15am Saturday NZT). The top five in each repechage will make up the 30-strong field for the eliminator finals which will see the bottom 10 drop off in stages 1 and 2 to leave 10 fighting for the world title.
Earlier, Hayden Wilde and Tayler Reid qualified 2nd and 8th respectively in the men’s qualifiers while Saxon Morgan (28th Q1), Dylan McCullough (19th Q2) and Janus Staufenberg (29th Q2) will try their luck again in the men’s repechages from 5am Saturday NZT.
RELATED: Wilde, Reid one and done to advance to World Super Sprint finale
All racing is live on World Triathlon’s subscription platform, Triathlonlive.tv (check @Triathlonnz social channels for a special Hamburg pass for US$7.99).
Van der Kaay got caught out slightly in the relatively slender swim lanes being used in Hamburg but was able to make up her 19 second deficit out of the water on the bike and use her run prowess to comfortably qualify from the heat won by Brit Beth Potter.
Thorpe also advanced with relative ease in women’s Q2 won by Frenchwoman Cassandre Beaugrand. Roderick had been third out of the water and mixed it up on the bike but once a top 10 escaped her on the 1.75km run, the young Cantabrian backed off to save her legs for the repechage.
Her performance was put into sharp perspective given Summer Rappaport, in 11th, and 2016 Rio Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen, in 17th, were among the big names also sent to the repechage.
The men’s finals are at 2.20am, 3:30am and 4:40am Sunday NZT. The women alternate in the breathless super sprint format at 2:55am, 4:05am and 5:15am Sunday NZT.