NZ win has Emma Moffatt one step closer to third Olympics
THE OLYMPIC dream of triathlete Emma Moffatt took another step forward overnight with her ticket to Rio almost within sight.
Already a dual Olympian, Moffatt and rising star Marcel Walkington led an Australian clean sweep at the Gisborne Oceania Triathlon Championships in New Zealand as the Aussies secured the all-important wildcard spots for this year's Games.
Moffatt led an Emma 1-2 finish from 21-year-old Sydneysider Emma Jeffcoat.
The pair led out of the 1500m surf swim after riding a wave to the beach - conditions which suited the two former surf swimmers - Moffatt who grew up in the waves at Woolgoolga and Jeffcoat in the waves at Dee Why where she was a champion lifesaver.
The pair then rode away with the race on the 40km bike before the smooth striding Moffatt raced away.
"Emma and I worked really well on the bike but the headwind was tough coming back each time which stung the legs a little bit," Moffatt said.
"Likewise on the run it was hard running into that wind.
"I was really focused, here to race and wanted to go hard but it is a nice setting so that eases the pain.
"It is a tough year trying to get into the Olympic team for Australia, a hard feat in itself.
"I have to go well in the World Series race in April on the Gold Coast and then if I qualify, go hard again in August.
"I was disappointed in Mooloolaba not to catch a wave so it was nice to get one this week.
"It gives a nice lead on the other girls."
Moffatt went to Beijing in 2008 and won bronze but took a heavy tumble in London in 2012 and failed to finish