Bahrain Victorious 13 member Kat Matthews claimed the bronze medal at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in an emotional return to competition.
Matthews sported the racing red for the first time and lined up alongside teammate and British compatriot Holly Lawrence. While Lawrence led out of the 1.9-kilometre swim with a healthy 1:28 lead over the rest of the field, Matthews put on a chase over the 90-kilometre bike leg to catch up two-thirds of the way and lead the race going onto the run with Lawrence on her heels. The two finished in third and fourth respectively as Tamara Jewett and Chelsea Sodaro put on speedy half marathons to take the top two spots on the podium.
It is Matthews’ first race since a car hit her on a training ride last year and took her out of contention for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, a bitter disappointment after the tremendous early season she had finishing second at the Ironman World Championship in St. George and then becoming the first woman to finish a full distance triathlon in under eight hours at the Pho3nix Sub8 Project, Powered by Zwift.
She said, “I knew there was some data showing in my training that was good, but it wasn’t that good. I think today was just emotion driving me the whole way.”
This weekend will see the thrilling conclusion of the Super League Triathlon Arena Games Powered by Zwift at the Grand Final in London. Henri Schoeman is taking aim at the esport triathlon world championship title up for grabs. The Olympic bronze and Commonwealth Games gold medalist currently sits atop the leaderboard for the series after taking second place at the kick-off in Montreal then winning Sursee the following week.