Two for two for Van Coevorden
NATALIE Van Coevorden made it two for two in yesterday's Hamilton Island Triathlon with Luke Willian taking out the men's event.
After finishing third in the Noosa Triathlon last week Van Coevorden replicated her impressive bike leg performance to have a strong lead into the final run, crossing the line ahead of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games athlete Charlotte McShane and last year's U23-Oceania triathlon winner Emma Jeffcoat.
Luke Willian celebrated the end of the Triathlon season by backing up his fifth place in last week's Noosa Tri to win in a time of 1:04:27 after a strong battle with the event's defending champion Jake Birtwhistle.
Birtwhistle failed to make win his third consecutive Hamilton island triathlon after being forced to pull out of the run with a calf injury.
Willian was followed over the line by fellow Queenslander Conor McKay and Victoria's Pierre Gouws.
The first wave of women dived into the water at 6.15 am and Van Coevorden said running out of the water she could feel the competition from McShane and Jeffcoat.
"I did the Noosa triathlon last weekend so I knew that I could really push the bike leg,” she said.
"It was actually pretty gnarly with these tropical island weather conditions.
"I had a good lead going into the run and sort of held it from there.
"Thank you to everyone for putting on a great event.”
Today, Australia's 400m freestyle Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton will defend his Hamilton Island Endurance Series Ocean Swim champion title by taking on his training partner, Italy's Gregorio Paltrineri, the Rio Olympics 1500m freestyle winner.
Horton said he did his first Whitsunday's competition last year but due to the weather conditions it was moved to the cats eye beach.
"So it will be my first time competing of Whitehaven and I'm really looking forward to it,” he said.
When asked who would beat who, Horton laughed.
"He better let me win considering I brought him here” Mack said.
Paltrineri said the trip is part of a six month stay in Australia and he plans to spend the rest of his time in the Whitsundays exploring the region's sights and sounds.
Competitors got the chance to rub shoulders with world class talent in a 'Swim with the Stars' event on Friday night including two queens of Australian sport, Sport Australia Hall of Fame members Susie O'Neill and Emma Carney.
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