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Smith gets best of tough conditions

Wet weekend: Dominique Mayho tackles the streets yesterday (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Karen Smith retained her Aon National Sprint Triathlon Championship in trying conditions at Clearwater Beach yesterday.

Smith overcame high waves during the swim, slick roads on the bike and fatigue to retain the women’s title and finish seventh overall in a combined time of 1:05.08.

“I had a good race but I was really starting to feel the effects of having raced the last six consecutive weekends,” Smith said. “The fatigue has set in so the race for me was just trying to get through it.

“Some unexpected squalls caused the swim to be shortened as the waves were high. The revised course was fine and worked to our benefit as the waves pushed us to shore.

“The bike was tricky as it had started raining so it made the roads quite slick. My brakes failed on one of the corners so I was pretty cautious. I saw that a few athletes had gone down there. I hope everyone is OK.

“My run was OK but my legs were just tired from having overdone it the past several weeks. I couldn’t find the extra surge I was hoping for.”

Yesterday’s event was Smith’s fourth appearance in a triathlon in six weeks having also competed at the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in Tennessee, ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam and Tokio Millenium Re Triathlon. Rounding off the women’s podium were Maddie Durkin (1:08.02) and Rebecca Shepherd (1:12.13).

This year saw a new champion crowned in the men’s field, with honours going to Alan Potts, who romped to victory in 1:00:02. Geoff Smith finished second in 1:01:26 and Neil De Ste Croix third with a time of 1:02:02.