Katie Hewison became the 2012 GE Canary Wharf Triathlon Champion, beating Liz Blatchford and Gillian Sanders in an enthralling race, just one month before the Olympics heads to London’s East End.
Hewison, the reigning ITU Duathlon World Champion, beat off strong competition from former ITU World Cup winner Blatchford and South African 2012 Olympian Sanders, to take the coveted title.
A thrilled Hewison said: “I am in shock. For me it was all about having the hardest swim that I could and if I am in the pack, I am a happy girl because I am a strong runner, that’s my strength. I focused on running as hard as I could and when I got near I couldn’t believe I was going to win.
“To race here with all the support is amazing there is a great atmosphere and to race in heats and then finals is something different too, it’s all really fast.”
Blatchford, who was leading after both first and second transitions, said: “When I came out the swim and I was on my own on the bike I wasn’t sure whether to go on my own or wait, but I decided to wait for the group and then go for the run. Katie is an amazing runner so I am not surprised she beat me as she is fantastic on the run.
“This race is so much fun, it really gets the adrenaline going and to race at this time of night is so different to what we are used to but I love it.”
Third-placed Sanders, who will next month once again compete in London at the 2012 Olympic Games, said: “It was really, really tough. The intensity of the short race is something else and I am not really used to it and with the heats it takes a bit out of your legs, so a totally different format but I liked it, it was great.
“I used today as a really hard training session as part of my preparations for the Olympics coming up in five weeks’ time. I am training hard at the moment so my legs are quite tired, but it’s great here. The course is technically challenging and because I live in London, it was a great race for me to do. It was fun having all the city workers out cheering for us too. Tonight was awesome.”
Hewison came through the first heat unscathed in fourth place with a solid effort that set her up nicely for a tilt at the title in the final. As the crowds gathered at Canary Wharf, Hewison carried her early form in to the decider and put in an incredible performance to claim the champion’s trophy.
After the success of the inaugural GE Canary Wharf Triathlon in 2011, this year’s event in the iconic business and shopping district of Canary Wharf attracted athletes from Australia, the United States and South Africa as well as a strong contingent from the UK, just one month before the city hosts the Olympic Triathlon competition.
Elite competitors will now look ahead to the last two races of the season, the GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon on 2nd September and then the Virgin Active London Triathlon on 23rd September as the race to be crowned British Triathlon Super Series Champion 2012 enters the home straight.