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Moffatt makes strong triathlon return

  • Moffatt makes strong triathlon return

    Australian Emma Moffatt has finished second at the Mooloolaba World Cup triathlon round.

Australian triathlete Emma Moffatt has made a strong return to racing as she aims for her third Olympic Games.

The Beijing Games bronze medallist finished second behind in-form British triathlete Jodie Stimpson in the opening World Cup round at Mooloolaba on Saturday.

Stimpson and Spanish star Mario Mola backed up from their wins last weekend at round one of triathlon's world series in Abu Dhabi by winning on the Sunshine Coast.

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Australian Ashleigh Gentle, who finished second to Stimpson in Abu Dhabi, was sixth on Saturday.

Luke Williams was the best-placed Australian in the men's race with 11th and two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson was 16th.

Moffatt was pleased with her first hitout of the season.

It was a sprint-distance race - a 750m surf swim, 20km cycle and 5km run - held in hot and humid conditions.

"I felt strong with no major big mistakes and I still think there are things to work on, so that's also very exciting," she said.

"Something this hot takes you to Rio (2016 Olympic Games) and what it potentially could be like, so it was a good challenge."

Moffatt will race next weekend at the Oceania championship in Gisborne, New Zealand over the Olympic distance, which is double Saturday's race format.

Stimpson, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, is based in Australia and revelled in the heat and the tricky surf.

She pulled away at the start of the run, ensuring Moffatt could not catch her.

"When you have a runner like Emma in the field there is no time to slacken off, no time to take chances," Stimpson said.

"I know what Moffy is like ... I had to make sure I made the most of getting away early in the run.

The major race for Stimpson and Moffatt will be the second world series at the Gold Coast on April 9-10, which will be an Olympic selection race for Australia and Great Britain.

Stimpson, Moffatt and Gentle are all yet to secure Rio berths.

Stimpson won in 58 minutes 31 seconds, with Moffatt 17 seconds back and American Kirsten Kasper a further eight seconds behind for an impressive third placing.

Mola won in 52:55, just five seconds up on compatriot Vicente Hernandez, while Joao Pereira of Portugal completed the podium in 53:12.

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