Three-time Olympian Picks up First World Cup Win Since 2005
April 17, 2011 (Ishigaki, Japan) – USA Triathlon National Team member and three-time Olympian Hunter Kemper broke away on the run to earn gold Sunday at the Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup. The victory was Kemper’s first on the ITU World Cup circuit since 2005.
Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) broke the tape in the Olympic-distance event in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 32 seconds to claim the fourth World Cup title of his decorated career. Russia’s Artem Parienko was second in 1:50:47, while Poland’s Marek Jaskolka rounded out the podium in 1:50:49.
A two-time runner-up in Ishigaki (2005, 2006), Kemper was just 15 seconds off the pace out of the water and entered T2 among a pack of 40 athletes 50 seconds behind a lead group of three off the bike. That advantage was quickly erased, as Kemper and Spaniard Ivan Rana caught the leaders on the first lap of the run before Kemper took a solo lead on the second lap and held it until the finish. Kemper’s 31:12 10k run split was the second fastest of the day.
“It’s my second race of the year, and it feels good to win in Ishigaki. It’s a beautiful place,” said Kemper, who opened his season last weekend in Sydney, Australia. “I’ve had injuries for the past two years – it’s been very difficult since Beijing in 2008, and this is my first World Cup win in a while. So it feels good to be back on top of the podium and win here in Ishigaki in front of the Japanese people, who have dealt with so much the past month or six weeks. It feels good to celebrate, even if just for a few hours.”
On the women’s side, Jillian Petersen (St. Louis, Mo.) joined Kemper in the top 10, finishing seventh in 2:03:19 for the second-best World Cup performance of her career. Petersen now owns five top-10 World Cup showings in her career.
Chile’s Barbara Riveros Diaz was the women’s winner in 2:01:57.
Mark Fretta (Portland, Ore.) finished 14th, while Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.) placed 26th to give the U.S. three of the top 30 men’s finishers.
Ishigaki Triathlon ITU World Cup
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
1. Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:50:32
2. Artem Parienko (RUS), 1:50:47
3. Marek Jaskolka (POL), 1:50:49
14. Mark Fretta (Portland, Ore.), 1:51:43
26. Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.), 1:52:25
63. Nicholas Vandam (Eagan, Minn.), 1:57:34
DNF Steve Sexton (Pilot Hill, Calif.)
1. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI), 2:01:57
2. Aileen Morrison (IRL), 2:02:19
3. Kiyomi Niwata (JPN), 2:02:34
7. Jillian Petersen (St. Louis, Mo.), 2:03:19