Gwen Jorgensen of the United States, Emma Jackson of Australia and Kirsten Sweetland of Canada celebrate on the podium. Photo: Getty Images
HAMBURG: Emma Jackson produced a brilliant finish to take the silver medal behind dominant American Gwen Jorgensen in the World Triathlon Series sprint race in Hamburg on Saturday.
It was a perfect hit out for the pint-sized Queenslander just two weeks before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - her priority race this year.
The 2012 Olympian, who was third in the ITU round in London last month, dug deep to best Canadian Kirsten Sweetland in a photo finish for the minor places six seconds behind Jorgensen who became the first triathlete to win four WTS races in a row.
"Emma was fantastic and timed her run perfectly after pacing herself through the bike," said Triathlon Australia's performance director Bernard Savage.
"And she should be even better when the time comes to race in Glasgow."
Emma Moffat withdrew early in the run, complaining of breathing difficulties, having suffered a fall from her bike while training in Hamburg during the week.
"Emma had a small fall and suffered a bruised calf and ribs which may have had something to do with her breathing," said Savage.
"It certainly isn't something she has had any problems with in the past so it could well be connected with the fall - we'll check it out.
"She had already planned to miss Sunday's Mixed Teams Relay Championship to return to her training base in Girona."
Another Commonwealth Games competitor, Ashleigh Gentle, also produced an encouraging race to finish 10th in her first major competition for several months while Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham was 51st in her first ITU race of the year.
In the men's event, Australia's most consistent male of the past two years, Aaron Royle, finished 11th in a helter skelter finish.
Royle put himself in the picture when he fought hard to stay in touch on the bike in a race won by Britain's Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee.
The favourite for gold in Glasgow, Brownlee charged to victory ahead of Vincent Luis of France and his brother, Jonathan Brownlee.
The good news for Royle is he was the third Commonwealth Games athlete to finish the race, ahead of South African Richard Murray (13th) and New Zealand's Ryan Sissons (20th).
Dan Wilson, who will join Royle on the Glasgow start line, was 27th.
Australia's third Commonwealth Games athlete, Ryan Bailie, had a timing chip failure but team officials believe he finished in the second half of the field.