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VIDEO: Triathlete uses afterburners, kicks to win WTS Abu Dhabi

Andrea Hewitt takes her first win on the WTS circuit since 2011 in a thrilling finish line sprint against Jodie Stimpson.

WTS Abu Dhabi

New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt reminded fans just how exciting a race finish can be when there’s a kick involved.

Hewitt, historically one of the more consistent triathletes on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) circuit, claimed her first world series win in six years on Friday during the elite women’s race at World Triathlon Series (WTS) Abu Dhabi, the 2017 season opener. Hewitt, a three-time Olympian, jetted past Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson, who was in the lead until the final metres, for a stunning victory against the defending champion in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

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Hewitt’s name came to the forefront of the triathlon world in late 2015 when her fiance and coach, top-ranked French triathlete Laurent Vidal, died suddenly of a heart attack.

“I dedicate this to Laurent Vidal,” she said. “He kept telling me I had the talent, but the emotions were missing in the race. Today I showed them.”

Commonwealth Games champion Stimpson took second, in her first race back on the circuit after narrowly missing the Olympics last year. Austria’s Sara Vilic hung on for a close third, to secure her first WTS podium finish.

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There were no Canadians in either the men’s or women’s fields this weekend.

This story originally appeared on triathlonmagazine.ca.