McIlroy, Royle Win ITU Sprint Oceania Titles

New Zealand's Kate McIlroy and Australia's Aaron Royle earned valuable ITU points with wins in New Zealand.

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New Zealand and Australia shared the honors at the Oceania triathlon championships at Kinloch near Lake Taupo today with Kate McIlroy winning the women’s elite title and Australian Aaron Royle the men’s.

Racing covered everything from the children’s Contact 1:2:1 to the beginners 3:9:3 race, national age group sprint championships and of course the elites who chased not only national titles, but Oceania honors as well.

Wellington’s McIlroy won the women’s race in a most impressive first hit out of the season, running away from the ever-improving Dutch pair of Rachel Klamer and Danne Boterenbrood with Debbie Tanner running home fourth.

These four plus Nicky Samuels established a strong lead early on the bike after exiting the 750m swim together, with the field trailing behind as the pace went on around the tight and demanding multi-lap 20km bike course.

On to the 5km run it was Samuels who faded first, leaving the two Dutch and two Kiwis to hammer away in front of a huge crowd lining the Kinloch course.

Into the home straight for the final time it was McIlroy who proved strongest, pulling away in a great display of strength and leg speed, especially for so early in the season.

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