Sexton win sends Olympic selection message

2 years ago, 9 May 2011 (AEST)

Rising Australian triathlete Brendan Sexton sent a loud Olympic selection message as he broke through to win his maiden ITU World Cup title in Monterrey, northern Mexico.

The 25-year-old from Maitland, NSW, ran away from the field late in Sunday's closing 10km run leg to continue his impressive start to 2011, which saw him finish fourth in the opening ITU world championship round in Sydney last month.

Sexton had to overcome heat wave conditions and a rough-house swim as he worked his way through a classy field for his first major international win.

It achieved his goal of sending a message to the Australian selectors and to his two main Australian rivals, 2008 Olympians Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson, that he's a serious contender for a place in the 2012 London Olympics team.

The brilliant runner left behind three-time European champion Frederic Belaubre of France, who was nine seconds adrift in second place and well-credentialed American Hunter Kemper, the World Cup winner in Ishigaki three weeks ago, who was 15 seconds behind in third.

"The selectors know that I've got talent and that I've got the ambition to do well but they want to see athletes who can win races rather than (just) do well so hopefully I've proved a point that when it comes to the crunch that I can actually cross the line first," said Sexton.

Sexton did not get things all his own way as the field battled out a 1.5 kilometre swim leg through a canal.

"It's a unique swim that's for sure. It's definitely something I don't want to have to do in a hurry again," said Sexton.

"I'm not good in a rough swim so I got knocked around a bit. There was quite a lot of current because the canal was so narrow.

"You just sort of got washed along so once you got yourself in position you just stayed there."

Sexton began to mount his attack through the 40km bike leg, knowing his trump card, the run, was still to come.

He was in a big lead group of 60-odd who rode into the transition for the run and made his move on the third of four run laps.

He broke away to build a lead from Belaubre and was strong enough to enjoy the crowd's applause as he stayed comfortably clear on the final stretch.

Countryman Peter Kerr was 21st.

In the women's race, Australia's world under-23 champion Emma Jackson finished 15th behind American winner Sarah Haskins.

Japan's Ai Ueda claimed silver and Anne Haug of Germany came in third.