Olympics wait for British pair

26 May 2012 / 20:53

Vicky Holland and Liz Blatchford face an anxious wait to find out if they have done enough to make the British team for the London Olympics after posting top-10 finishes at the World Triathlon Series race in Madrid on Saturday.

Madrid was the final race to count towards qualification, and it showed as the British contenders all featured strongly in a race won by Nicola Spirig of Switzerland ahead of Ireland's Aileen Morrison.

With world champion Helen Jenkins, who chose to miss this race, already assured of a place in Team GB, there are two spots remaining for the selectors to fill.

Holland was fifth in San Diego last time out and was again the top British finisher in seventh, while Blatchford also impressed on the 10 kilometre run to cross the line in seventh.

Britain's swim specialist Abbie Thorrington led the field into the first transition, with Holland, Jodie Stimpson and Blatchford all well placed.

But Blatchford missed the first group heading out on the bike course round Casa de Campo park, which includes a steep hill, and spent most of the rest of the 40km trying to make contact.

At one stage the gap was more than a minute but by the time the athletes headed out onto the run they were all back together, although Thorrington, who was troubled by a puncture, and Kerry Lang both dropped out.

Spirig and Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile immediately set the pace but Holland was able to go with them and settled into a leading pack of seven.

Stimpson and Blatchford were in the second pack and competing for top-10 spots, but Holland then found herself in trouble when Morrison put on a spurt. She dug deep, though, to hang on to seventh and Blatchford completed an eventful race with a strong run.

Holland said: "I can't jinx myself by saying it's enough. I've shown improvement from San Diego, where I was two minutes off Helen. I'm showing I'm getting closer and closer to that medal potential and I just hope they give me the shot."