MATT Sullivan held off strong opposition to claim his first gold medal in this year’s five race Gatorade Triathlon series and as a result he won the series title.
He won the title last year in the 15-19 years old age group and moved into the 20-24 years old group this season.
Only a few points separated the top three contenders before Sunday’s final race.
The leader Paul Marchant was on 40 points, Matt on 36 and third position Tom White was on 35.
The race was Olympic distance, which was comprised of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run to finish.
Matt was the second of this trio out of the water; 40 seconds behind Tom and 65 seconds in front of Paul.
His transition to the bike was a very impressive minute and a half. It would be this bike leg that would set Matt up for his victory.
He covered the 40km in 59 minutes and 6 seconds, at an average speed of 40.8km/hr.
This was more than three and-a-half minutes faster than the other two athletes. The gap was too great for them to make up, with all three of them covering the 10km in 36 plus minutes.
Matt crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 19 seconds; 3 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of Tom and 4 minutes in front of Paul. This was a very well deserved victory for Matt who spends hours training every day, always looking to improve his performance.
Matt’s overall placing was 15th out of 701 triathletes who completed the Olympic distance event.
Matt’s coach Darren Franken has a solid program of running and swimming planned for Matt over the next six months during the triathlon off-season, with the aim of further improving these components of the triathlon event.