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This weekend’s Tauranga half-triathlon will welcome Australia’s Rebekah Keat and New Zealand’s Jo Lawn, among others.
New Zealand veteran Jo Lawn must counter another strong Australian assault if she is to win a third Port of Tauranga half-triathlon title at Mt Maunganui on Saturday.
Australian women have won five times in the past decade and are sending another strong contingent, including three-time winner Rebekah Keat, Nicole Ward, Carrie Lester and former New Zealander Anna Cleaver, making a return to the sport at the top level.
With defending champion Sam Warriner bypassing the event after just returning to training, Lawn will assume the lead role for New Zealand.
She won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, was runner-up in 2008 and 2009 and fourth last year in the race she uses as a key barometer for her progress towards Ironman New Zealand in March.