GOLD COAST, Australia (September 13, 2009) -- American Sarah Haskins used the conditions to her advantage Sunday in the Dextro Energy Triathlon --ITU World Championship Grand Final but ultimately fell one place shy of the podium.
Australia's Emma Moffat, who won three straight World Championship Series races earlier in the year, overcame a late-season injury to cap her dominant year with a win in her home country, posting a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, 14 seconds on the mostly flat course in this sunny Australian city.
Choppy, cold water proved to be the perfect swim conditions for Haskins, who exited the water with a 15-second lead. After being caught by six others on the bike, including teammate Sarah Groff, Haskins and the group used the crosswinds to stay away from a chase pack that included Switzerland's Daniela Ryf and New Zealand's Andrea Hewitt, both contenders for the World Championship Series win.
After a shaky second transition during which she had to re-rack her bike, Haskins exited with most of her seven-person group, including series leader Emma Moffat of Australia, in front of her.
"My bike fell over and they had told me that if my bike falls over, I have to re-rack it," Haskins said. "So I lost 5-6 seconds, which was huge because I would have come out just behind [Lisa] Norden."
Haskins didn't let the transition mishap dictate the remainder of the race as she quickly moved up among the leaders and even appeared to threaten Moffat and Sweden's Norden late in the run, but she couldn't maintain the pace on the last loop of the 10k run course and was caught by Great Britain's Helen Jenkins. Jenkins edged Haskins for a coveted place for the second straight year. In 2008, the two formed a breakaway at the World Championships in Vancouver and Jenkins went on to win gold as Haskins took the silver.
Haskins consistently placed in the top 10 at World Championship Series races in 2009, finishing fifth in Madrid, fourth in Washington, DC, sixth in Hamburg and ninth in Yokohama. Despite her consistent top performances, Haskins wanted more.
"I've been fourth or fifth or sixth all year --just so close but never quite there," she said.
Jenkins' finish vaulted her over Haskins for fifth place in the final World Championship Series standings.
USA Triathlon Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn said Haskins is right on track for the first year of the Olympic quad.
"Obviously we're disappointed not to get a medal when she was so close, but considering making the team last year was so stressful and then her [foot] surgery in February, to be back to where she is today and so consistent is awesome," Schnitzspahn said. "It's a long road to London still, which is where we need [Haskins] to be."
American Sarah Groff finished 13th. Other Americans in the race were: Mary Beth Ellis (23rd) and Jillian Petersen (29th).
2009 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship
Gold. Emma Moffatt, Australia. 4340pts / 2009 World Champion
Silver. Lisa Norden, Sweden. 4130pts
Bronze. Andrea Hewitt, New Zealand. 3462pts
4. Daniela Ryf, Switzerland. 3187pts
5. Helen Jenkins, Great Britain. 3173pts
6. Sarah Haskins, USA. 3139pts
7. Juri Ide, Japan. 2477pts
8. Magali Di Marco, Switzerland. 2422pts
9. Jessica Harrison, France. 2365pts
10. Annabel Luxford, Australia. 2191pts
2009 Gold Coast Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Grand Final
1.5k swim, 40k cycle, 10k run
Gold --Emma Moffatt, Australia. 1:59:14
Silver --Lisa Norden, Sweden. 1:59:19 +0:06
Bronze --Helen Jenkins, Great Britain. 1:59:41 +0:27
4. Sarah Haskins, USA. 1:59:52 +0:39
5. Annabel Luxford, Australia. 2:00:08 +0:54
6. Daniela Ryf, Switzerland. 2:00:21 +1:08
7. Magali Di Marco, Switzerland. 2:00:25 +1:12
8. Andrea Hewitt, New Zealand. 2:00:26 +1:13
9. Jessica Harrison, France. 2:00:27 +1:14
10. Liz Blatchford, Great Britain. 2:00:30 +1:17
Visit triathlon.org for updated official results.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. - as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 125,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.