Hewitt Up To Third In ITU Tri World Rankings


Andrea Hewitt posted a solid 8th place on a tough day at the office for the Kiwi number one ranked triathlete, coming home top-ten at the latest round of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan today while there were again promising signs for Rebecca Spence on her return to the top level of the sport.

Conditions deteriorated throughout the morning with the women’s race greeted by heavy rain at times that made for a treacherous bike leg and a soggy run through the big crowds of Yokohama and Yamashita Park.


Hewitt in action on the bike leg

Photo Delly Carr ITU

The race was won in imperious fashion (again) by American Gwen Jorgensen, the rest of the field having no answers as she strode away to win by over a minute from first time WTS medalist Ashleigh Gentle (Australia) and Emma Moffat (Australia).

Hewitt exited the swim in the main chase group but soon went to work on the bike, helping close to the leaders before riding comfortably in the large group, avoiding any crashes along the way as staying upright became just as important as moving quickly.

Fellow Kiwi Rebecca Spence was also racing strongly, having been a part of a third chase group which also caught the leaders with two laps to ride, again making for some nervous piloting of bikes around the 20 corners on the tight and flat Yokohama course.

Hewitt was quick through transition and into her groove on the run, with just the irrepressible Jorgensen up the road, but quickly realized that all was not well.

“I just didn’t feel great today and knew it pretty quickly on the run. I am not sure it was any one thing, just a combination of a few perhaps, the cold, the travel and I have a pretty good headache now after the race so perhaps I am just not quite 100%.”

She was though content with toughing out a creditable result which moves her up to 3rd place in the Columbia Threadneedle WTS rankings.

“That was hard work, but on the tough days you have to be prepared to guts it out and do the best you can, I have no excuses, it just wasn’t my day but importantly I kept it together and earned good points, enough to move up to third in the overall rankings which is good at the halfway stage of the season.”

Spence also held her form to finish in 20th place, another encouraging result after her 24th place finish in Cape Town. Her run was all the more meritorious as she stayed clear of the majority of the lead bunch coming into T2, and that after doing much of the work on the bike – in particular in the first 20 kilometres.

Spence currently sits 47th on the WTS rankings after her two races so far