Gentle’s late show in Japan

THE newest Wollongong Wizards member, Commonwealth Games-bound triathlete Ashleigh Gentle, has produced a blistering run to finish in the top 10 in a world series race in Japan.

Runaway success: Ashleigh Gentle, who won the Australia Day aquathon in Wollongong, finished sixth in Japan. Picture: Adam McLean

Runaway success: Ashleigh Gentle, who won the Australia Day aquathon in Wollongong, finished sixth in Japan. Picture: Adam McLean

The 26-year-old was adrift at the back of the field after the 1.5km swim and still facing a huge task after the 40km ride.

However, having relocated from her home town on the Gold Coast to Wollongong earlier this year, Gentle produced the fastest run of the race in 34.03, in wet conditions.

Gentle finished sixth overall, adding to the second in the Gold Coast event which secured her place to next year’s Games.

Her preparations began when she took out the Australia Day aquathon in Wollongong.

Bermuda’s Flora Duffy took out the end at Yokohama, with Americans Katie Zaferes and Kirsten Kasper also on the podium.

“Race was blown apart quickly by some gutsy/fast racing,” Gentle wrote on Twitter. “I drove the bike as best I could & ran hard to the line. Surprising 6th”.

Charlotte McShane was 22nd overall. Meanwhile, Ryan Bailie stuggled in the men’s event, finishing 18th, his worst result in three years.

Defending world series champion Marco Mola led a Spanish quinella, with Fernando Alarza second and Norway’s Kristen Blummenfelt running past Rio bronze medalist Henri Schoeman third.

Jake Birtwhistle, who is Australia’s automatic Commonwelaht Games nomination, won his fourth consecutive Wollongong aquathon in January, finished 33rd.