Thursday, April 25, 2024

Thorpe claims elite New Zealand triathlon title

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Howick’s Ainsley Thorpe has picked up an elite New Zealand triathlon title. Photo Janos M. Schmidt World Triathlon

Cambridge-based Howick Olympian Ainsley Thorpe and Whakatane’s Hayden Wilde, as the leading Kiwis in their respective World Triathlon Cup Napier races recently, were crowned 2024 NZ Sprint Distance Triathlon champions.

The elite New Zealand titles will be recognised fully at the resurrected Tri NZ Awards and gala dinner in April after being reinstated following a hiatus.

The Oceania Triathlon Standard Distance Championships, in Taupo on April 14, will also double as the NZ elite championship over this distance.

Both the sprint and standard distance titles have been reinstated to celebrate New Zealand’s finest across the two main triathlon distances and to remove marketplace confusion by giving the Tri NZ Suzuki NZ Series clear status as the age group equivalent.

Thorpe told the Times, “I’m thrilled to have secured my first New Zealand national title over the weekend [February 24].

“I had a solid race for my first race of the season in Napier and I’m hoping to improve on this throughout the year.

“I will be heading to the first World Series race of the season in Abu Dhabi next week racing individually and in the mixed team relay.

“We then have our national standard and Oceania championships in Taupo on April 14.

“I will be heading to Europe in May for a couple of races as I hopefully prepare for the Paris Olympics.”

The podium places in Napier were:

Men
1. Hayden Wilde
2. Dylan McCullough
3. Tayler Reid

Women
1. Ainsley Thorpe
2. Olivia Thornbury
3. Brea Roderick

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