5 Sep 2011

New Zealander wins long distance crown

6:43 pm on 5 September 2011

New Zealand's Mel Burke has won the ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland, upsetting her more fancied European opponents on their home soil.

A dominant effort over the 10km run, 150km bike and 30km run helped the 31-year-old Aucklander secure the title by more than three minutes.

Burke started fast over the opening 10km, entering transition second behind Denmark's Susanne Svendsen to effectively set up her day.

On the bike she rode her way to a 4 minute 27 second buffer, before another impressive run to hold on for the victory.

Further emphasising the quality of the win, the event was the first in almost a decade to combine both the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and International Powerman Association (IPA) titles, with the last such genuine World Championship event held 9 years ago in Austria.

Reigning champion Erika Csomor (HUN), denied an eighth Long Distance Duathlon World Championship title by Burke, had to make do with a bronze with Eva Nystrom (SWE) snatching silver.