Thirteen Brits braved rough seas at the ETU European Cup in Turkey last Sunday (3 May) in the hunt for spots at the Rio triathlon test event this August, with India Lee, Mark Buckingham and Adam Bowden making the strongest case for inclusion.
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The women were first to start and the small field of just 22 athletes soon broke up into small groups and individual athletes. Hannah Drewitt had the best of starts amongst the British women but it was India Lee who made the best of the bike and run course and claimed the third spot on the podium behind Russians Elena Danilova and Alexandra Razarenova.
Tough week but laid myself on line 4Rio test spot,2spaces up 4grabs,came 2nd brit,hopefully enuf 4 @BritTri selection pic.twitter.com/0DpjYNpljF
— Emma Pallant (@EmmaPallant) May 3, 2015
Emma Pallant was the next best Briton in sixth. Hannah Drewitt was eighth.
Tom Bishop led the British charge out of the men’s swim and went on to have one of his best bike rides ever, but a foot injury halted his progress after that. Matt Sharp had an excellent run but an infringement on the bike mount line meant he got a fifteen second penalty.
Sharp went on to win the race with Mark Buckingham, Adam Bowden and Grant Sheldon the next finishers behind him. However, an infringement during the swim cost Sharp the win as he was disqualified.
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With Rio places on the line, the disqualification hands the selection to Bowden rather than Sharp, with confirmation to come at the end of the week.
British Triathlon Performance Director, Brendan Purcell, said: “The swim conditions had a big influence on the women’s result. India Lee came through and showed how strong she was on the bike and run in particular.
“The men’s race was very interesting. Tom Bishop was exceptional but then the rest of the field took over on the run. Getting the first four across the finishing line was very good, but Matt Sharp was obviously very disappointed.”
He added: “Rio selections will be made by a panel at the end of the week. India Lee, Mark Buckingham and Adam Bowden have all met the policy.”