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Hawley finishes eighteenth in Mexico

Encouraging signs: Erica Hawley was delighted with her performance at the weekend

Erica Hawley believes she is making steady progress after her impressive eighteenth-place finish at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon in Mexico at the weekend.

Hawley, competing in only her second World Cup race, having finished 31st at the New Plymouth ITU World Cup in New Zealand in March, finished the sprint-distance race a time of 1hr 3min 20sec.

The 19-year-old came out of the water in ninth, just ten seconds behind the lead pack, with her chase group quickly swallowing up the distance on the leaders during the first bike lap.

She had a reasonably strong run, although the Bermudian admits she “suffered on the second lap due to the heat”. Hawley finished with splits of 9:59, 32:54 and 19:07.

The race was won by Chelsea Sodaro, of the United States, in 1:01:14.

“This was a great result for me and I’m really pleased with how the race went,” said Hawley, who was racing for the Team Asics Development Programme.

“This has been an amazing opportunity for me as I was travelling alone and without my coach [Ian O’Brien] and [the Team Asics Development Programme] provided me with endless support.”

Hawley, who finished sixteenth at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April, said her performance has served as a confidence boost for the rest of her season.

“The course was quite tough with a small hill on the bike and the run and, of course, it was very hot in Mexico,” she said.

“This was a great start to the rest of my racing for the year and I’m very happy with my progress from the last World Cup, which I did in March.

“This is only my second World Cup, so I couldn’t be happier with how the race went for me today. I gained ITU points and Olympic points, which were the goals.

“There’s still lots to work on but progression is being made.”