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Farrant edges mates to win title

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Connor McKay (left) and Peter Muscat during the bike leg. Click for more photos

The Australian Sprint Championship Triathlon

The Australian Sprint Championship Triathlon, held in Canberra on January 27. Photo: Colleen Petch

Shane Farrant of Kaleen won bragging rights over his mates when he was first across the finish line of the Australian Sprint Championship in Canberra on Sunday morning.

Farrant, 20, outran his friends Lindsey Wall and Nuru Somi in the final stages, finishing the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run in a personal best time of 56 minutes, 43 seconds.

There were 390 triathletes contesting the championship, the main event of the third race of Triathlon ACT's Capital Summer Series. With a novice category also on offer, nearly 600 took part.

The stormy weather of Saturday night left race organisers scrambling to finish setting the course, which began and ended at Ronds Terrace, and debris in Lake Burley Griffin added an extra challenge for the swimmers.

"It was not bad, all the tanbark and the leaves in there didn't put you off that much, that was just a bit of a nuisance," Farrant said.

Wall led the pack out of the swim, but with Farrant opting not to wear a wetsuit, he quickly caught up in transition, with his training partner Somi close behind. The three continued their lead through to the finish line, but it was Farrant who got there first, nine seconds ahead of Wall. Farrant, who trains with Somi under Corey Bacon, gained his professional triathlon licence two years ago, and was back out training by the afternoon as he prepared for his next race, an ITU sprint in Geelong next week.

Rhiannon Snipe, a University of Canberra student, was the first woman across the line, finishing in one hour and six minutes, 30 seconds ahead of 18-year-old Elyse Foster of NSW, with another 18-year-old, Bonnie Atherton of Queensland, rounding out the places.

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