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Erica Hawley gets new season off to promising start

Off to a flyer: Bermuda’s Erica Hawley, right, got her season off to a promising start after securing a fifth-placed finish in the Americas Triathlon Cup Viña del Mar, in Chile

Erica Hawley got her season off to a promising start after securing a fifth-placed finish in the Americas Triathlon Cup Viña del Mar, in Chile.

Having ended her last campaign in strong form with successive top-15 finishes in the space of a week in South Korea, following up a superb finish of thirteenth in Haeundae, with an impressive fourteenth-place finish in Tongyeongn, the 23-year-old would have been keen to build on momentum in her first outing of the new year.

So it proved, as Hawley competing among the Elite Women’s field, completed the sprint distance course of a 750 metres swim, 20 kilometres bike and 5km run in a combined time of 1hr 2mins 59sec, crossing the line a little more than two minutes adrift of race winner LuisaBaptista.

While conceding slight disappointment at matching her pre-race expectations, the Bermudian athlete took to social media to express pride in her own resilience, having coped with challenging circumstances in the build up to race day, which ultimately gave her the greatest sense of satisfaction.

“Even though I wanted more, I’m proud of this result,” said Hawley who exited the water in 11:26, clocked 32:50 on the four-lap cycle and completed the two-lap run in 17:19.

“After a hectic travel here, a delayed bike and wetsuit that arrived 12 hours before the race start, and no familiarisation period, I was happy to just get on the start line and put a swim-bike-run together.

“This week was very touch and go and filled with many challenges, but as we say in triathlon; you need to roll with the punches!

“Excited for another go next weekend in Villarrica [Americas Triathlon Cup and South Americas Championships Villarrica on Sunday].”

It proved an astute performance from Brazilian Baptista who managed to hold off the challenge of Canadian Emy Legault.

Exiting the water just a second apart, Baptista seized the initiative on the bike course to edge ahead of her rival. It was to ultimately prove crucial as despite a late charge from Legault, the 27-year-old just managed to maintain her lead, claiming victory by just a second in a sprint finish to the line.

Sarika Nakayama, of Japan completed the podium places, slightly under a minute behind in 1:01:41.

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Published February 16, 2022 at 7:46 am (Updated February 16, 2022 at 7:46 am)

Erica Hawley gets new season off to promising start

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