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Emma Moffatt has pure courage

WOOLGOOLGA’S defending world champion Emma Moffatt returned after recovering from a broken shoulder and more than seven months without a race to go desperately close to victory in triathlon’s world championship series opener in Sydney.

The Olympic-distance race ended in a thrilling three-way sprint to the steps of the Opera House on Sunday with Moffatt just one second behind winner Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile and second-placed New Zealander Andrea Hewitt.

Moffatt broke her shoulder in February after crashing her bike on a training ride in the Gold Coast hinterland but courageously ignored medical advice that she wouldn’t be fit enough for the Sydney race comprising a 1500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.

“You have to be a tough racer, particularly in this series if you want to go well,” said Moffatt who claimed valuable series points with her brave performance.

“You can’t afford not to be tough and not prepared to put yourself in that position.”

Moffatt had feared her tender shoulder could come in for rough treatment from competitors in the water so she made the smart tactical move of staying clear at the back of the pack in the water before making up ground on the bike leg.

“I gave it everything I had and while I obviously pulled up just short, I’m pretty happy that I was right up there in the mix,” the 25-year-old said.

“It’s reassuring to know that I haven’t lost that much fitness.

“It has been seven months since I raced, so just getting out there in front of that crowd on that course and blowing the cobwebs out was really exciting.”

The second race of the world championship series will be held in Seoul on May 8.

POINTS TABLE

ITU World Championship - Round 1

Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI) 800
Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 740
Emma Moffatt (AUS) 685
Mariko Adachi (JPN) 633
Lisa Norden (SWE) 586
Kate Roberts (RSA) 542
Jessica Harrison (FRA) 501