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Hauschildt survives crash to grab history in IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

Melissa-Hauschildt-IM-70.3-World-ChampsBrisbane’s Melissa Hauschildt survived a crash on the bike to create history with her victory in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas today.
The 30 year old became the first woman to claim two wins in the championship, following her maiden victory on debut in 2011.

However she had to survive a scare after coming down while leading with 3kms remaining on the bike.

“I just thought it was going to be all over, I would have a flat and there was no-one around. I have crashed so many times on the right hip. The last two times I’ve done it I haven’t been able to run,” Hauschildt said.

But run she could, setting the fastest bike and run splits on the way to a dominate victory in 4:20.07 to be five minutes clear of American Heather Jackson with fellow Australian Annabel Luxford third in her IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship debut.

It marked an outstanding day for triathletes from Down Under, with Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone finishing second to repeat men’s winner Sebastian Kienle (Germany) while Tasmania’s Joe Gambles grabbed the final spot on the podium.

There were three Australians in the top seven with Tim Reed fifth and Leon Griffin seventh.

Three-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander had a tough day finishing 19th after receiving a drafting penalty early in the bike leg.

“It was a frustrating day getting pinged for drafting 2km into the ride. Probably deserved it, no intent but looking down and not paying attention,” Alexander said.

Hauschildt had an improved swim before powering through the field on the bike, in an unusually wet and humid day in Las Vegas.

“My aim was to get into T2 first. I did my hardest to catch them and I thought I would sit in for a bit. But I couldn’t a afford a penalty here so I just went straight passed and then crashed.

“I wasn’t confident of the win until I hit the downhill in the last km on the run. I could see I was gaping them but you never know, all of a sudden you can bonk and you are walking home.

“Overall it is an amazing feeling.”

Luxford enjoyed a strong debut, with the leaders out of the water and for much of the bike, only pipped for second place in the final 2kms.

Gambles has strung together three great seasons of racing only to fall at the last hurdle in the championship races but today turned that around to snare third place.

“I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I’ve dreamed of a podium placing and I have finally got it,” Gambles said.

“I race pretty even splits over the three laps, stick to my guns, I picked off two of three people each lap and all of sudden I was in clear third.

“I was only going to be happy if I executed my perfect race and that’s what I did today and I got beaten by two better athletes on the day.”