Rio Olympic Games hopeful Ben Shaw opened his season with a solid result at the Takapuna Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup in New Zealand this weekend.
Raced over a super sprint distance comprising of a 300m swim, 9.6km bike and 2.6km run, it was set up for the sprint specialists. Shaw cruised into the finals as he won heat number two in a time of 28mins 08secs.
Water temperatures reached a balmy 22.3 centigrade, meaning it would be a non-wetsuit swim. With 30 starters squeezed onto the beach start it was a chaotic scene but Shaw managed to find some clear water. He emerged from the sea in first place with four athletes close behind.
Onto the bike and Shaw continued to push the pace with the other leaders but the group had swelled in numbers by the time they reached the second transition.
Over the 2.6km run, New Zealand’s World Number 16, Ryan Sissons clocked 8:03 for the distance to take the Oceania Cup in a time of 27mins 07secs.
Ben Shaw ran well for a ninth place finish in 27mins 34secs. The result earned Shaw 109.34 points on the International Triathlon Union Points List and sees him jump up two places to 77th in the rankings.
Shaw will continue his southern hemisphere training, building up to the Mooloolaba World Cup on March 14th where he will look to improve on a 27th place finish there last year.
The women’s race was won by Sophie Corbidge with London Olympic Silver Medallist, Lisa Norden second.