Hewitt pips Stimpson in stunning WTS Abu Dhabi finish

World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2017 sprint finish

Andrea Hewitt wins, Jodie Stimpson second at World Triathlon Abu Dhabi

Amazing finish to the World Triathlon Series Abu Dhabi produces an emotional victory for Andrea Hewitt (NZL).

But… WHAT. A. FINISH!!!!

I hadn’t quite realised that my following ‘Twitter commentary’ update would prove to be quite so close to reality…!

And shortly afterwards, this happened…

In truth – for the most part! – this wasn’t a hugely memorable race. Yas Marina and the International F1 circuit is an incredible venue of architectural wonder (I know, I’ve been there several times myself), but with a practically spectator-free backdrop, it isn’t perhaps the best way to market the sport. The contrast to World Triathlon Leeds could not have been greater.

The non-wetsuit swim saw a leading group of five (Routier, Cook, Abrosimova, Zaferes and True) take a small lead. Five soon became eight, and then after a bit of changing around – primarily from a hugely impressive Jodie Stimpson closing her 40 second swim deficit, bring the chase group back – we then were up to 14 before a bit more attrition got us back to T2, 40km later, with nine athletes:

India Lee, was just 44 seconds back in the next group alongside the fleet-footed Ai Ueda (JPN).

Fast forward 7.5km into the run and nine had become three…

Stimpson looked amazing throughout, appeared to be the one pressing the pace and with around 200m she really hit the gas, opened up her sprint and looked like the win was in the bag… until Andrea Hewitt produced an amazing response. It was a brilliant finale.

Andrea Hewitt:

“It was an amazing race for me, it is amazing coming here to Abu Dhabi for me. Last year the number one spot was dedicated to Laurent and this year I am dedicating to Laurent. I raced two weeks ago, my race of this year in Tiga and I won. So I knew I was coming here really fit. Laurent always told me that I had everything, I had the dedication, I had the integrity, I had talent and he told me the one thing I was missing was emotion and I didn’t show it a lot of the time,” Hewitt said through tears. “I have to say thank you to Maddie Dillon, she has been beside me for one year and knows exactly what I am going through and my friends, my family I just want to thank everyone.”

Jodie Stimpson:

“Coming on that straight, Andrea was the stronger one, I was stronger on the hills. To be honest, I’m just ecstatic me and Andrea got on the podium. The amount of work we did all day, if I was going to lose to a sprint finish, I’m glad it was Andrea today,” said Stimpson of her strong performance. “I can’t thank my family enough for getting me through that last year. That one was for my sister, she’s been my rock through this, and I couldn’t have done this without her.”

ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi – Friday 3rd March 2017
ELITE WOMEN – 1.5km / 40km / 10km

1st – Andrea Hewitt (NZL) – 2:03:46
2nd – Jodie Stimpson (GBR) – 2:03:46
3rd – Sara Vilic (AUT) – 2:03:53
4th – Rachel Klamer (NED) – 2:04:17
5th – Ai Ueda (JPN) – 2:04:52
6th – Gillian Backhouse (AUS) – 2:04:56
7th – Katie Zaferes (USA) – 2:05:02
8th – Lisa Perterer (AUT) – 2:05:05
9th – Yuko Takahashi (JPN) – 2:05:07
10th – Rebecca Spence (NZL) – 2:05:13

16th – India Lee (GBR) – 2:07:11