Comerford wins ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Championships

By World Triathlon Admin | 19 Nov, 2006

Bella Comerford has been crowned as women’s ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Champion after taking victory in Canberra, Australia earlier today. The Scotswoman, who won the Florida Ironman just weeks ago, was fired up coming into the race and took it by storm.

The race started at Lake Burley Griffin with the 4km swim over a two lap course with Linda Gallo of the USA leading the women’s pack out in a time of 55 minutes before the transition onto the 120km bike. Comerford started her surge here as the four lap course took in Parliament Hill, the lake and a sapping hill climb through Coppins Crossing. By lap four the wind started blowing making it particularly tough going.

Johanna Daumas of France lead by three and a half minutes coming into transition two, with Comerford sitting in pack with crowd favourite, Melissa Ashton of Australia and the Italian, Martina Dogana. Edith Niederfringer, also of Italy was in fifth, seven minutes behind Daumas.

With just 30k to go on the flat three lap run of the southern edge of the lake it meant that there was still time left for major movements in the field to crown the 2006 World Champion. As the runners passed and re-passed the main race area, the spectators could easily follow the changes. The first major incident happened when Melissa Ashton dropped out at the 10k mark with Comerford taking over second. As the laps wore on the temperature soared to 34C and Daumas surrendered her lead to Comerford, and then second place to Niedergriniger.

Bella Comerford was crowned the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion as she finished in a time of 6:55:32 ahead of Edith Niederfriniger, 6:57:17, and the early leader Johanna Daumas, 7:00:50. The effort of the race clearly showed in Bellas face as she grasped the finish tape in jubilation. Erika Csomor, 7:05:13, the sole Hungarian entrant, was fourth with Martina Dogana coming in fifth in a time of 7:05:37.

Britain’s Sarah Gross took a fantastic sixth place finish having been in the top five for much of the ride, with Abigail Bayley a commendable ninth on the tough course, making it three Brits in the top 10! Rachel Horn, Britain’s other elite woman crossed the line in 15th.

Bella said of her victory: [It was] very warm but the clouds helped. I felt very strong coming into race. Very tough hills, tired and tough. I concentrated and had to give it my all in the last kilometer as some one shouted Italy behind me.

Related Event: 2006 Canberra ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships
19 Nov, 2006 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Torbjorn Sindballe DEN 05:59:13
2. Craig Alexander AUS 06:00:35
3. Marino Vanhoenacker BEL 06:02:22
4. Julien Loy FRA 06:02:46
5. Nathan Richmond NZL 06:04:53
6. Patrick Vernay FRA 06:06:45
7. Hervé Faure FRA 06:07:26
8. Jonas Colting SWE 06:07:56
9. Reinaldo Colucci BRA 06:10:49
10. Jens Koefoed DEN 06:11:15
Results: Elite Women
1. Bella Bayliss GBR 06:55:32
2. Edith Niederfriniger ITA 06:57:17
3. Johanna Daumas FRA 07:00:50
4. Erika Csomor HUN 07:05:13
5. Martina Dogana ITA 07:05:37
6. Sara Gross GBR 07:06:47
7. Heidi Sessner GER 07:08:33
8. Cristina Azanza Moreno ESP 07:14:56
9. Abigail Bayley GBR 07:21:00
10. Amelia Cox AUS 07:22:56
Results: 20-24 Male AG
1. Chris Stanton AUS 06:46:32
2. Richard Thompson AUS 06:53:37
3. Renaud Herington AUS 07:01:25
4. Luke Way CAN 07:05:52
5. Richard Campbell NZL 07:13:44
6. Cédric Largajolli FRA 07:15:47
7. Mark Scott AUS 07:31:15
8. Andrew Caune AUS 07:34:22
9. Jordan Haggard USA 07:35:53
10. Daniel Howitt AUS 07:55:20
Results: 20-24 Female AG
1. Maree Hryniuk AUS 08:04:01
2. Natsha Lydiard NZL 08:32:02
3. Sarah Beable NZL 08:37:54
4. Kristin Hewitt NZL 08:38:43
5. Heather Bryden CAN 09:16:20
6. Samantha Mazer USA 09:23:24
7. Tina Hunt USA 09:59:25
8. Erin Berring CAN 11:38:34
9. Kate Mortimer AUS 11:59:01
Results: 25-29 Male AG
1. Jason Crowther AUS 06:40:17
2. Cameron Munro AUS 06:48:38
3. Ben Harley AUS 06:49:11
4. Jeremy Webber NZL 06:50:45
5. Marc Person AUS 07:03:45
6. Jonathon Hitchens AUS 07:05:57
7. Ben Howard AUS 07:08:17
8. Heath Betts AUS 07:10:01
9. Mathew Brier USA 07:13:27
10. Fabio Iskadarian BRA 07:14:02
Results: 25-29 Female AG
1. Kirsten Molloy AUS 07:14:10
2. Jennifer Dixon AUS 07:31:09
3. Anel Radford RSA 07:32:20
4. Anna Francis AUS 07:44:42
5. Emily Cocks USA 07:48:32
6. Rebecca Eveleigh AUS 08:01:45
7. Kate Bourchier AUS 08:11:02
8. Melanie Van Rooyen RSA 08:24:56
9. Kendal Morgan-Marshall NZL 08:26:05
10. Simone Allison AUS 08:27:47