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Tri-Time: Steady start as Morrison makes Japanese return

Here’s your weekly round-up of Irish triathlon news, including details of Aileen Morrison’s 14th place finish at the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama.

OLYMPIC TRIATHLETE AILEEN Morrison finished in 14th place as she made her return to international action in the Yokohama leg of the World Triathlon Series.

Morrison got off to an excellent start and completed the open water swim in 19:42 which saw her exit the water in fourth position and put her comfortably in the lead pack for the flat but technical 40 kilometre bike leg.

A chase pack of nine, which included many of the strong runners, bridged the gap to the leaders half way through the bike section. Morrison couldn’t keep pace over the final run and finished her final leg in 35 minutes as Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden went on to take the honours.

With just three weeks to go before the ITU Grand Final in Auckland, Triathlon Ireland’s high performance director Chris Jones was pleased with the result.

“It was Aileen’s first race in a number of weeks and she swam really well so we’re looking forward to Auckland,” Jones said. “There’s a little bit more to come in the run but a top 10 or top 15 at the Grand Final would be an excellent result.”

Also in action this weekend was Conor Murphy, who finished strongly in the run to come home fifth at the Sprint Distance European Cup in Italy.

Murphy had a quick swim and exited the water beside the favourites Aurelien Raphael of France and Alessandro Fabian of Italy, who finished tenth at the London Olympics. This set Murphy up nicely and he remained in the leading pack throughout the bike section. Murphy outpaced a host of top athletes during the 5km run to finish fifth, just 20 seconds off Fabian.

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In domestic action, almost 400 people turned out for the final race in the Vodafone National Series. Aidan Callaghan took top spot for the men thanks to a strong showing across all three disciplines.  Callaghan’s time of 32:30 for the 10km run sealed the deal and he won in a time of 2:04:25. Marie Boland had a comfortable victory in the women’s race in a time of 2:15.

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