Atkinson top Aussie dog in F1 racing

Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia (Feb. 25, 2001) — Courtney Atkinson is no longer the Aussie with the most potential. Hes now the top dog. At least hes the best at F1 competition, that style of short-course racing Aussies seem to appreciate of all others.

Atkinson demonstrated that with style and dominance this year with a win in Coolangatta on Feb. 25. In so doing he became only the third male competitor to win the KIA Formula 1 Triathlon title.

Atkinson, the 1999 world junior champion, went into yesterdays round equal on points with Sydney's Chris McCormack, the former world champ wholl be stepping way up in distance two months from now in the Wildflower half-Ironman. In Coolangatta, though, McCormack wasnt a factor.

Atkinson defeated his training partner, Miles Stewart, with Levi Maxwell, making a welcome return to form to claim a podium finish. Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield was fourth.

Atkinson debuted in the series four years ago as a 17-year-old and his transition to the senior ranks, competing against the world's best athletes, has been phenomenal. In four years of F1 racing, Atkinson has finished eighth, fourth, second and now first.

"To win my first race and to win the series on the same day is like a double dose of excitement," he said. "I have been after this title for four years and it has been a long haul. I have finally done it and it feels awesome. There is so much self satisfaction to do what you aim to do, especially in a high profile series like this."

In an exciting womens event, top yank Barb Lindquist upset pre-race favorite and good friend Nicole Hackett. The popular Lindquist was ecstatic at her win, with Hacketts second place enough to secure the series and win a third consecutive F1 title, equaling the record set by Jackie Gallagher.

Michellie Jones and Emma Carney had a thrilling sprint finish for the final podium spot, but it was Jones who was victorious.

RESULTS:

Men:
1. Courtney Atkinson (QLD) 23:33
2. Miles Stewart (QLD) 23:39
3. Levi Maxwell (QLD) 23:44
4. Simon Whitfield (CAN) 23:47
5. Paul Amey (NZL) 23:49
6. Peter Robertson (VIC) 23:54
7. Simon Thompson (ACT) 23:57
8. Marc Lees (QLD) 24:01
9. Chris McCormack (NSW) 24:26
10. Brad Beven (QLD) 24:31

Women:
1. Barb Lindquist (USA) 25:22
2. Nicole Hackett (NSW) 25:38
3. Michellie Jones (NSW) 25:44
4. Emma Carney (VIC) 25:45
5. Laura Reback (USA) 26:02
6. Mel Ashton (NSW) 26:18
7. Steph Forrester (GBR) 26:21
8. Pip Taylor (26:48)
9. Josie Loane (QLD) 26:56
10. Trudi Sanders (RSA), 27:27

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