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Hewitt wins gold in Abu Dhabi triathlon

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2017

New Zealand triathlete Andrea Hewitt has edged Englishwoman Jodie Stimpson in a sprint finish to win the opening race of the world triathlon series in Abu Dhabi.

It was a hugely emotional win for Hewitt, her first since the death in November 2015 of fiance Laurent Vidal.

The French triathlete, who finished fifth at the London Olympics, died following a cardiac arrest at the age of just 31.

Through tears, Hewitt dedicated her first win in the world triathlon series since 2011 to Vidal.

"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."

Hewitt and Stimpson's strength on the bike leg set up the grandstand finish, with the Kiwi timing her run to perfection to grab the win in the last few strides.

Both triathletes were credited with the same time: two hours, three minutes and 46 seconds.

Stimpson's silver completed her comeback from the achilles injury that last year ruled her out of the Rio Olympics.

"I'm just ecstatic me and Andrea got on the podium," the Commonwealth Games champion said afterwards.

"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."

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