Densham making ITU comeback

Published
26/04/2015

Australia’s London Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham has continued her comeback to the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit, after being hampered by illness and injury, with a pleasing performance in foggy, chilly conditions in Cape Town overnight.

Photo Delly Carr/ITU

Despite the fact she struggled to get her wetsuit off after a shortened swim (due to the cold water conditions) Densham clawed her way back into the middle of the field on the bike.

The 29-year-old from Campbelltown was equal fifth out of the water alongside South African local Marie Rabi and behind eventual silver medallist Kate Zaferes (USA), Helen Jenkins (GBR), Claudia Rivas (MEX) and Rachel Klammer (NED).

After the 10km run she finished 21st in the field of 48 in only her second race back on the ITU WTS after making her return on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago, as she sets herself for a third Olympic campaign in Rio next year.

“I had a really good swim, I’m really excited about that; but I couldn’t get my wetsuit off and I ended up well back in the field,” said Densham.

“I think I must have been fifth out of the water; then I was just so far back; it was frustrating.

“But we were lucky we got back together on the bike.

“This is my second race back and I definitely felt better than at the Gold Coast (where she was 18th) although the result doesn’t show it.

“But I definitely did things better than I did on the Gold Coast and I’m actually really happy.

“I really liked the course here in Cape Town; it’s technical on the bike which suits me; the different surfaces make it really interesting and then the run’s the same; it’s twisty, turny.

“If I was in better shape I would have loved it. But I’m happy with how that panned out.”

The race saw Great Britain’s Vicky Holland break through for her maiden WTS victory ahead of new Series leader Zaferes with London Olympic gold medallist Nicola Spirig (SUI) taking the bronze in her return to the WTS.

And as far as Spirig was concerned, a bronze medal was quite satisfactory as like Densham she was just thrilled to be competing again on the WTS circuit.

““I am extremely happy, it is like winning for me because I had a great time here in Cape Town. I had some good days, my family is here and I just ran a marathon last week so it was a lot of fun,” Spirig said.

“I was surprised how strong I was on the bike, so I just enjoyed it.”

Densham will continue her ITU campaign when she joins fellow Olympic bronze medallist Emma Moffatt and London team mate Emma Jackson in a six-strong Australian women’s team for the next round in Yokohama on May 16, a team that also includes Gillian Backhouse, Ashleigh Gentle and Charlotte McShane.

They will be joined by six men in dual Olympian Courtney Atkinson, Commonwealth Games trio Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie and Dan Wilson, two-time World Championship representative Cameron Good and ITU rookie and ITU World Junior silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle, who will make his second appearance after debuting in Auckland.

Densham, Jackson, Backhouse and McShane will be joined by Natalie Van Coevorden in London which will also see Royle, Bailie and Birtwhistle joined by London Olympian Brendan Sexton and youngsters Ryan Fisher and Declan Wilson.

ITU WTS CAPE TOWN RESULTS

Elite Women

1.

Vicky Holland

GBR

 

01:49:51

2.

Katie Zaferes

USA

 

01:49:52

3.

Nicola Spirig

SUI

 

01:49:56

4.

Sophia Saller

GER

 

01:50:07

5.

Rebecca Robisch

GER

 

01:50:09

6.

Kirsten Kasper

USA

 

01:50:10

7.

Helen Jenkins

GBR

 

01:50:16

8.

Anne Haug

GER

 

01:50:21

9.

Chelsea Burns

USA

 

01:50:24

10.

Emma Pallant

GBR

 

01:50:34