Johns comes up short in sprint to the line

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Andrew Johns was pipped in the final 10km run but still finished fifth in the men's élite race, to lead an encouraging British showing at the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, on Sunday.

Britain's élite men all swam well, exiting the water towards the front of the 1.5km swim, with Richard Stannard, Richard Allen, Marc Jenkins, Johns and Tim Don all in the leading pack of the 40km cycle ride. Stannard hit the front in the last cycle loop, working with a group of four in an attempt to pull away. Although their lead was not big enough to give Stannard much advantage over the strong runners in the field, it proved decisive for Australia's Peter Robertson, who went on to win in a time of 1hr 48min 01sec, 35sec faster than Johns.

Throughout the 10km run Johns managed to remain in the medals and was only jostled out at the final sprint, when Australia's Chris Hill pulled away from the New Zealander Craig Watson and Spain's Ivan Rana, who were followed home by Johns.

Leanda Cave, in 17th place, was Britain's first athlete across the finish line in the élite women's event, which was won by the American wild card entrant Siri Lindley in 1:59.56. There was a shock when Nicola Hackett, the defending champion, crashed out on a corner during the cycle race. Hackett was unable to continue after suffering suspected concussion and grazing.

Cave was one of the leading athletes to exit the swim and was well positioned in the leading group in the cycle. But despite being one of the first to exit transition two, as in the European Championships, her run was weak and saw her drift back.

There was mixed success for Britain in the élite junior women's race, with the European junior champion Jodie Swallow finishing a disappointing third, but Catherine Hare produced a superb personal effort to come fifth. Annaliese Heard got off to a good start but had to settle for a minor placing after crashing her bike twice on the course.

The 17-year-old Daniel Hayes finished seventh in the junior men's event, a tremendous achievement for an athlete who has at least two more years to compete in that age group.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (Edmonton, Can) Elite men: 1 P Robertson (Aus) 1hr 48min 01sec (1.5km swim 18min 25sec, 40km cycle 56.25, 10km run 31.55); 2 C Hill (Aus) 1:48.12 (18.44, 56.35, 31.36); 3 C Watson (NZ) 1:48.14 (18.05, 57.14, 31.33); 4 I Rana (Sp) 1:48.26 (18.38, 56.45, 31.47); 5 A Johns (GB) 1:48.36 (18.19, 57.01, 31.58). Selected GB: 16 M Jenkins 1:49.31 (18.07, 57.20, 32.40); 28 R Allen 1:50:25 (18.23, 57.00, 33.44); 36 S Smith 1:51.17 (18.24, 56.54, 34.35); 37 R Stannard 1:51.28 (18.13, 56.29, 35.24). Elite women: 1 S Lindley (US) 1:58:51 (19.33, 1:02.59, 34.55); 2 M Jones (Aus) 1:59:41 (19.21, 1:03.09, 35.44); 3 J Zeiger (US) 1:59:56 (18.53, 1:03:39, 35:51); 4 R Hill (NZ) 2:00:26 (19.20, 1:03.16, 36.20); 5 K Smet (Bel) 2:00.46 (19.36, 1:02.53, 36.43). Selected GB: 17 L Cave 2:02.36 (19.20, 1:03.10, 38.32); 22 M Dillon (2:03.46 21.15, 1:04.09, 36.54); 23 A Whitcombe 2:04.16 (20.32, 1:04.55, 37.11); 33 H Williams 2:06.49 (20.03, 1:05.11, 39.57); 50 S Forrester DNF (21.14, 1:11.24). Junior élite men: 1 S Dehmer (Ger) 1:51.22 (19.55, 57.36, 32.42); 2 E D'aquino (It) 1:51.30 (19.05, 58.15, 32.49); 3 L McKenzie (Aus) 1:52.07 (19.00, 58.25, 33.30). Selected GB: 7 D Hayes 1:53.04 (18.17, 59.03, 34.25); 39 F Cartmell 1:58.15 (20.17, 1:00.13, 36.25); 44 E Chalifour 2:00.03 (20.39, 59.49, 38.05). Junior élite women: 1 N Spirig (Swit) 2:04.11 (20.57, 1:00.44, 36.57); 2 B Lanza (It) 2:04.26 (20.50, 1:04.49, 37.14); 3 J Swallow (GB) 2:04.45 (19.32, 1:06.19, 37.23). Selected GB: 5 C Hare 2:05.09 (20.33, 1:05.07, 37.54); 15 H Freeman 2:07.36 (21.27, 1:05.00, 39.21); 18 A Heard 2:08.09 (19.32, 1:07.52, 39.15).

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