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Spirig wins Women’s European Title in Athlone

 

Spirig European Champion

Spirig European Champion

Waterways Ireland triAthlone, Ireland’s biggest triathlon and fourth biggest triathlon in the World had a record number of over 4,000 participants take part. Waterways Ireland triAthlone 2010 encompassed events for participants across all levels of competition; from charity and fun entrants, to those competing at the highest Irish amateur level. For 2010, and for the first time ever in the history of the country, the event proudly hosted the 2010 ETU European Triathlon Championships.

Nicola Spirig from Switzerland, who is currently ranked 5th in the world, came first in the Women’s elite race to claim the European Championship title, crossing the finish line in 1hr 57 minutes and 54 seconds, narrowly beating France’s Carole Peon who clocked a time of 1hr 58 minutes and 5 seconds. The two athletes were shoulder to shoulder during the last two laps before  Spirig claimed first place in a nail biting finish.

Ireland’s Aileen Morrison fought her way among the best triathletes in Europe to claim a very resectable 5th place with a time of 1hr 58 minutes and 48 seconds. Moments after crossing the finish line Morrison said ‘I am flabbergasted with the result, this was my best performance ever and I am so happy with my position.The support here today has been amazing and I am so grateful for everyone coming out today to cheer us on.’

Third place went to 24 year old Lisa Norden from Sweden with a time of 1hr 58 minutes and 17 seconds and Ireland’s Emma Davis clocked in at 2hrs 1 minute and 55 seconds.

This elite race began at 3.30pm with a 1.5km swim loop in the River Shannon before the competitors took to their bikes for 8 laps totalling the 40km bike challange, and ended with a spectacular town-centred 4-lap 10km run.

Thousands of supporters lined the medieval streets cheering on the athletes from 18 countries competing in the event which is the largest championships ever staged in Ireland, second only to the Special Olympics.

Liam Heavin, Chairman, Waterways Ireland TriAthlone spoke about the success of the event:
“This was the biggest year yet for Waterways Ireland triAthlone and we are delighted to be hosting the 2010 Athlone ETU European Triathlon Championships. It was fantastic to see Ireland’s Aileen Morrsion finish 5th in front of a home crowd of literally thousands.”

The junior womes’s race took place earlier in the afternoon and first place was claimed by Germany’s Annika Vossing, second was Lucy Chittenden from Great Britan and third was Justine Guerard from France.

This year’s Waterways Ireland triAthlone event was supported by premium sponsor Waterways Ireland, with significant support also provided by Athlone Town Council.

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