AUS Open Champs Weekend #1

July 30
AUS Racing

2019 Australian Open Championship – Weekend #1 – July 27-28 – Falls Creek

Original media report from SSA News

Bellingham Wins Dual AUS Championships Gold

A restricted training load did not deter Phillip Bellingham from winning the men’s classic sprint and 15 kilometre freestyle at the 2019 Australian Cross Country Championships held at Falls Creek.

Men’s Sprint Podium L-R: Bentley Walker-Broose (3rd AUS), Lauro Braendli (3rd), Phillip Bellingham (1st), Seve de Campo (2nd)  – Photo by Kathy Watt

A determined Bellingham wanted to win but was unsure if he’d done enough preparation to achieve the desired result.

“It was a little bit of a surprise but at the same time what I was hoping for, as I haven’t been training as much as I would like,” Bellingham said.

The two-time Olympian got off to a strong start in the sprint, winning the time trial in 3:41.38, which was six seconds faster than the eventual silver medallist Seve De Campo and 10 seconds ahead of the bronze medallist, Switzerland’s Lauro Brandli. The trio dominated their heats and semi-finals before they went head to head in the decider.

In the 15km freestyle, Bellingham was again tested by De Campo but held strong and won gold in a time of 39:30.9. Callum Watson also made the podium winning bronze from Brandli.

“Seve was pushing me and he’s skiing really well at the moment and he made me work for it all weekend,” Bellingham said.

In the women’s events, Olympian Casey Wright and Katerina Paul battled it out for the gold on offer, with Wright claiming victory in the 10 kilometre freestyle and Paul winning gold in the sprint.

Wright was more than a minute faster than Paul in the freestyle, crossing the line at 30:48.9.

She didn’t allow fatigue from the sprint to impact her performance.

“I held my race focus and everything fell into place. As I was the highest ranked skier I started last and I went out and tried to track down as many people as I could on course,” Wright said.

“I’m really happy, I went out there and skied as well as I could and happy to get some good results along the way,” she said.

In the sprint, Wright looked the favourite after she won the time trial from Paul by more than seven seconds. Both women won their semi finals which set up an exciting decider that Paul won in a lunge across the line.

Across the finish line in the women’s Sprint A-Final – Photo by Kathy Watt

“Kat had great skis on the uphill section and I was double polling on the downhill. There just wasn’t enough of the racecourse to finish off my comeback,” Wright said.

“It was really good racing and good to belt it out with Kat, especially as I haven’t been able to do a lot of sprint racing as there’s not much of that on the college circuit,” she said.

RESULTS | 2019 Australian Cross Country Championships @ Falls Creek
Men Classic Sprint
1st Phillip Bellingham
2nd Seve De Campo
3rd Lauro Brandli (SUI)

Women Classic Sprint
1st Katerina Paul
2nd Casey Wright
3rd Ella Jackson

10km Freestyle
1st Casey Wright
2nd Katerina Paul
3rd Rosie Fordham

15km Freestyle
1st Phillip Bellingham
2nd Seve De Campo
3rd Callum Watson

Full Sprint Results
Full Distance Results