Aussie Rules: Triathlete Emma Jackson Wins 2012 Devonport OTU Oceania Championship, Takes Australia One Step Closer To London Olympic Bid
Oakley’s Emma Jackson is well aware of her strong points and she proved it at the 2012 Devonport OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships in Tasmania, Australia. Known for her skills in the running portion of the triathlon, Jackson went out quick from the start, while still maintaining enough energy to surge on the third leg of the race. She outlasted fellow Australians Ashleigh Gentle and Erin Densham for the victory, despite a 40 second deficit going into the run.
The 20-year-old Jackson finished in the top spot with an overall time of 1:56:36, just under a minute faster than the second place finisher Gentle. As one of the first out of the water, Jackson set the pace early, joining an elite lead group on the bike. The lead pack worked off of each other for an enjoyable bike portion, until New Zealander Nicky Samuels broke away from the group on the last lap of the 40km course. The forty-second advantage going into the final stage was not enough to hold off Jackson as she quickly closed the gap, running her way to the Devonport gold.
“I gave it absolutely everything I had,” said Jackson. “My swim was good, I tried to relax on the bike and work with the girls and I knew it would come down to the run which is always my strong point. But running into the wind wasn’t easy and I was glad to see the finish line.”
No doubt she was glad to see the finish line. The fact that she was the first to cross meant that her native Australia would hold onto their Oceania spot. Furthermore, they will remain second out of eight total countries vying for a chance to qualify three athletes for the 2012 London Olympics. While the season is not over, Australia and Jackson preserve a good chance of sending a field of three women to the London Games later this year. Jackson’s big win at Devonport should argue a strong case for her to be one of those three representing Australia at the Olympics. She would join her fellow countrywoman and Oakley teammate Emma Moffatt should she make the team. Moffatt is already pre-nominated as the Beijing bronze medalist.
“I was determined to come to Devonport and put together my best race possible and seal that place for Australia and I knew that if I did that then I would certainly do my own selection chances no harm either – that was the plan,” said Jackson.
Jackson’s performance is a testament to her hard work and dedication to representing herself and her country at the highest level. Her Oakley family congratulates her and hopes to see her in London!