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Erica Hawley narrowly misses out on top-ten finish in Florida

Pedal power: Erica Hawley in action in the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon at Nathan Benderson Park in Florida, where she finished eleventh (Photograph by ellagalbraithphotography)

Erica Hawley claimed a respectable 11th-place finish in the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon at Nathan Benderson Park in Florida.

Under stringent Covid-19 safety protocols, the Bermudian triathlete was among the elite women’s field that took on a 750-metre swim, followed by 20-killometre bike discipline before finishing up with a 5km run.

The 22-year-old exited the water in a time of 9min 56sec before clocking 27:54 on the cycle and completing her endeavours with a run of 18:45 to cross the finish line in a total elapsed time of 57:42, less than two minutes adrift of race winner Gina Sereno.

“Another day of racing and another eleventh place,” Hawley posted on Instagram. “Grateful for the opportunity to compete once again.”

In the women’s race, Vittoria Lopes, of Brazil, exited the water first, before most of the field converged on the bike, and a large group barrelled into the second transition together.

Ultimately, it came down to the final discipline in which Sereno used her signature speed on foot to clock a 16:40 run. She proved the only athlete in the field to run the 5km course in under 17 minutes.

Sereno crossing the line in a winning time of 55:49 to claim her maiden elite victory, more than ten seconds ahead of runner-up Sandra Dodet of France in 56:01. Iceland’s Edda Hannesdottir completed the podium places in a time of 56:11.

In the men’s race, Darr Smith exited the water first, closely followed by fellow American Kevin McDowell.

The latter quickly pushed the pace with the lead group on the bike, positioning himself at the front of the pack heading into the second transition.

On the run, McDowell broke away from the field with a 14:53 5km. He crossed the finish line in a winning time of 49:15 nearly 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Matthew Sharpe, of Canada, in 49:34, who was closely followed by Austin Hindman in 49:35 to complete the podium places.

Like all elite athletes, Hawley is continuing to wait for the return of the World Triathlon international season, which is set to commence in Japan with the World Triathlon Cup Osaka on May 8 and 9, followed by the World Triathlon Championship Series opener in Yokohama on May 17.

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Published March 16, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 16, 2021 at 8:42 am)

Erica Hawley narrowly misses out on top-ten finish in Florida

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