By Kent Gray/
Saxon Morgan hopes the return to one of triathlon’s most iconic short course venues will trigger a change of fortune after a frustrating performance in the final at World Triathlon Cup Tiszaujvaros.

The Canterbury 24-year-old finished a “pretty disappointed” 24th in Hungary early Monday NZT after breezing into the final of the two-day sprint eliminator with 6th place in his heat.

It comes after an equally annoying DSQ at World Triathlon Cup Wollongong in April for inexplicably riding in transition. Morgan had hoped a stint training at altitude in southern France alongside Paris Olympic Games-debutant Dylan McCullough would pay off in Tiszaujvaros.

The beauty of the busy global triathlon calendar is that he gets that chance to go again at this weekend’s World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships in Hamburg where he teamed with McCullough, Brea Roderick and Hannah Knighton 12 months ago to claim bronze in the U23 relay.

Morgan was 52nd in the individual men’s world championships but that was an eliminator over the super sprint distance. This weekend’s individual men’s race is a one-off 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run sprint.

“Hamburg is such an iconic course so, yeah, I’m very keen to have another crack there,” Morgan told

“I was pretty disappointed in how the final went in Tiszy. Training has been going well so really hoping to translate that into a solid result this weekend in Hamburg.”

Photo: @nevrilkphoto

Morgan progressed to the final comfortably from his Saturday semifinal/heat (early Sunday NZT) but never got going in the final. NZL team-mate James Corbett was eliminated after finishing 15th in the first of three semifinals, or heats, in Tiszaujvaros.

“We had a good group of eight guys get up the road in the semifinal and with nine qualifiers from each semifinal progressing, it worked out well. We rode hard and kept a solid gap so we didn’t have to run too hard,” Morgan said.

“Unfortunately the following day in the final I just felt flat from the moment I dove into the water till I crossed the finish line. It was two very hot days above 30 degrees and I didn’t manage the heat as well as I had hoped.”

 Morgan hopes to cash in on his recent training and from lessons learned in Hamburg a year ago.

The men’s race, also featuring Tayler Reid,  is live on Sky Sport and from 11:50pm Saturday NZT with the women – including Nicole van der Kaay, Ainsley Thorpe and Roderick, off at 1:55am Sunday NZT.  Van der Kaay, Thorpe, Reid and McCullough are then scheduled to race for mixed relay glory from 1am Monday NZT.

“I’m looking forward to racing this weekend against some of the biggest names in the sport,” Morgan continued.

“It’s another step up from World Cup racing so I’m really going to need to bring my A game to be in the mix. I was chasing all day last time I was here after missing the main bunch out of the water. I’m really hoping for a strong swim this time to put myself in the race and give myself the best opportunity to be towards the pointy end of the coming off the bike.”

Hungarian star Csongor Lehmann won the men’s title from Brit Connor Bentley and Frenchman Valentin Morlec. Germany’s Annika Koch was just as impressive in claiming the women’s gold from GBR’s Vicky Holland and Diana Isakova who was racing under World Triathlon’s Individual Neutral Athletes flag.

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