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Oliveira in cruise control

Matthew Oliveira came from behind to win the Aon National Sprint Triathlon Championship yesterday in ideal racing conditions at Clearwater Beach.

After coming out of the water in second, the 16-year-old reeled in leader Jonathan Herring on the first lap of the bike and never looked back.

Oliveira completed the 75-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and 5km run in a time of 1hr 3min 35sec, crossing the line more than three minutes ahead of Herring, who represented Bermuda at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

“I just tried to keep really steady,” Oliveira said. “Jonathan was about 30 seconds in front of me coming out of the water and then I passed him on the first lap of four laps on the bike and increased the gap and maintained it on the run.”

Oliveira, who dominated the local cycling season and won the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race, took full advantage of the racing-friendly conditions.

“The conditions were not too bad,” he added. “The humidity wasn't too high, the wind wasn't bad on the bike and the swim was nice. There wasn't really much current or waves, so it was a smooth swim, basically.

“There is a hill on the run course. But coming down the hill made it a lot easier for recovery for each lap.”

Herring took second in 1:06:52 and Matt Thompson third in 1:08:47.

Experienced triathlete Karen Smith was equally as dominant en route to the women's title, which she won in a time of 1:09:38, to exceed her expectations after leaving it late to register for the event.

“I really didn't have any expectations today as I haven't really focused on this event,” said Smith, who finished seventh overall. “This came up and I said, ‘Let's just see how I do' and I had a pretty good swim and just tried to ride really hard.

“I knew if I wanted to have any chance at all, I would have to build up a pretty big lead coming off the bike over Ashley [Estwanik] because I'm not running well and she always runs well. I just tried to run as best as I could.”

Estwanik was the second woman across the line and tenth overall in 1:11:58, with Lynsey Palmer rounding off the women's podium in 1:13:50.

• For the full results, see the PDF links under “Related Media”

Keep on running: Oliveira dominates during the run to finish more than three minute ahead of his nearest rival (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 31, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated November 01, 2016 at 1:57 pm)

Oliveira in cruise control

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