Kiwi woman is a world champion
Hawaiian competition a showcase for New Zealand multisport talent
Wanaka Olympian Nicky Samuels has added another world title to her name after blitzing the competition at the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii last week. Fellow rider Braden Currie recorded the best finish for a kiwi males in seven years. Samuels, who finished 35th in the triathlon at the London Olympics, won the Korean leg of the 2012 triathlon World Cup and the world aquathon title in Auckland in the same year, crossed the finish line in a time of 2:57:48, about two minutes ahead of Lesley Paterson of the United States, who placed second. More than 650 athletes from across the globe took part in the world’s premier off-road triathlon which involved a 1.5 kilometre rough water swim, 30.4km mountainbike ride and a 9.5km trail run. Samuels’ motivation to enter the competition was the chance to holiday with her aunt who has multiple sclerosis, as well as her husband and parents who went along to see her take the title. her win was not the only success by a Wanaka athlete at the event with Braden Currie able to overcome a mountainbike crash which resulted in six stitches to his chin to place fifth in the men’s race. It was the best result a New Zealand male has had in the race since Hamish Carter took out the title in 2006. Currie said he was happy with the result from the strong line-up. ‘‘I was impressed with my swim. I put a lot of time and effort into that,’’ Currie said. ‘‘Not such a great mountainbike [section] as I think I found the biggest tree on the course making for stitches in the chin,’’ he said. He continued the race after the fall with a gash and said the fall would set him back about 20 seconds. He finished the course in 2:39:05, about four and a half minutes behind the overall winner. After returning to New Zealand for one night, Currie headed to Perth where he competed in the a multisport adventure race. His next goal would be competing in the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge on November 27.
Rough rider: Wanaka Olympian Nicky Samuels competes during the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii.