Matt Baker and Emma Jeffcoat dominate elite field at 2017 Devonport Triathlon

DOMINANT: Matt Baker dominated the men's field in Devonport. Picture: Cordell Richardson.

DOMINANT: Matt Baker dominated the men's field in Devonport. Picture: Cordell Richardson.

Two of Australia’s most exciting young triathletes have dominated the elite field at this year’s Devonport Triathlon. 

Aussie pair Matt Baker and Emma Jeffcoat both blitzed the men’s and women’s competition on Saturday and both have now earned a spot in Australia’s under-23 team at the World Triathlon in Rotterdam later in 2017. 

Baker redeemed himself with his win in Devonport following a disqualification in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

The 22-year-old Victorian won with a time of 1:52.34 ahead of last year’s winner and training partner Marcel Walkington in second with a time of 1:53.12 and Kiwi triathlete Tayler Reid in third in 1:55.02. 

The talented triathlete was disqualified in the opening round of the World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, admitting he made an honest mistake running up the ramp after lap one of the swim and missed a turning cone and subsequently the timing mat.

Baker said he was able to take out some his anger from his disqualification in Abu Dhabi this month and he was glad to get it out of his system ahead of a big event on the Gold Coast coming up. 

...it was good to sort of get all that anger out,” Baker said. 

Emma Jeffcoat has dominated the field in the elite/under-23 female category at the 2017 Devonport Triathlon. 

DOMINANT: Emma Jeffcoat led from start top finish in the women's field. Picture: Cordell Richardson.

DOMINANT: Emma Jeffcoat led from start top finish in the women's field. Picture: Cordell Richardson.

The Australian from Sydney led from start to finish as she was first out of the water, off the bike and onto the run. 

Jeffcoat finished with a time of 2:07.33 ahead of Australian pair Gillian Backhouse and Joanna Miller. 

The 22-year-old finished well clear of Backhouse who crossed the line in 2:08.26 with the elite closing the gap to less than a minute after it got out to as much as almost two minutes earlier in the race. 

Following the dominant win Jeffcoat shared how big her latest results had been personally after a tough year in 2016. 

“I just think it’s really positive for me to see the improvement made from last year compared to this year,” Jeffcoat said. 

“I finished last year with a disappointing injury so to come back stronger is wonderful.”

Jeffcoat came into Devonport following a fourth place finish at the Mooloolaba World Cup last week with the result gaining her automatic selection into the Australian under-23 team for the World Championships in Rotterdam. 

She said continuing her form this week was a bonus to the win. 

“I had Mooloolaba World Cup which is also Olympic Distance.

“I knew I had fatigue in my legs from last weekend so I wasn’t going out there to try and gain ground, I was just trying to hold it I guess.

“But as the race went on I got stronger which was really nice to see.

In other results on Saturday, Jonathan Goerlach was first across the line in the Para-triathlon event with a time of 1:06.53. 

Goerlach suffers from Usher Syndrome Type II, meaning he has moderate hearing loss, no peripheral vision, is night-blind and has only tunnel vision and competed with the help of guide Simon Hearn. 

Bill Chaffey was also among the para-triathlete winners with a time of 1:07.59 to take out the handcycle category. 

CHAMPION: Jonathan Goerlach and guide Simon Hearn cross the line first in the para-triathlon. Picture: Epic Events and Marketing.

CHAMPION: Jonathan Goerlach and guide Simon Hearn cross the line first in the para-triathlon. Picture: Epic Events and Marketing.

CHAMPION: Bill Chaffey crossed the line first in the handcycle category of the Para-triathlon. Picture: Epic Events and Marketing.

CHAMPION: Bill Chaffey crossed the line first in the handcycle category of the Para-triathlon. Picture: Epic Events and Marketing.

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