Van Coevorden dominates tri
Two for two for returning champion
TRIATHLON: Natalia Van Coevorden made it two for two in Saturday’s Hamilton Island Triathlon, with Luke Willian taking out the men’s event.
After finishing third in the Noosa Triathlon last week, Van Coevorden replicated her impressive bike leg performance to have a strong lead into the final run, crossing the line ahead of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games athlete Charlotte McShane and last year’s U23 Oceania triathlon winner Emma Jeffcoat.
Willian celebrated the end of the triathlon season by backing up his fifth place in last week’s Noosa Tri to win in a time of 1:04.27 after a strong battle with the event’s defending champion, Jake Birtwhistle.
Birtwhistle failed to win his third consecutive Hamilton island triathlon after being forced to pull out of the run with a calf injury.
Willian was followed over the line by fellow Queenslander Conor McKay and Victoria’s Pierre Gouws.
The first wave of women dived into the water at 6.15 am and Van Coevorden said running out of the water she could feel the competition from McShane and Jeffcoat.
“I did the Noosa triathlon last weekend so I knew that I could really push the bike leg,” she said.
“It was actually pretty gnarly with these tropical island weather conditions.
“I had a good lead going into the run and sort of held it from there.
“Thank you to everyone for putting on a great event.”
Competitors got the chance to rub shoulders with world-class talent in ‘Swim with the Stars’ on Friday night, including two queens of Australian sport. Susie O’Neill and Emma Carney.
CONVINCING WIN: Natalie Van Coevorden high-fiving a fan as she crossed the line to claim her second consecutive win at the Hamilton Island triathlon. INSET: Men’s winner Luke Willian during a post-race interview.