Aileen Morrison was back racing at the top level at the Yokohama World Triathlon Series in the early hour of Saturday morning.
Morrison got off to the best of starts exiting the water in 4th spot. The excellent swim allowed Morrison to easily make the lead pack and will give her huge confidence with the ITU Grand Final coming up in just three weeks time.
Onto the flat but technical bike course and the chase pack of 9 were pushing hard to bridge the gap. The group which included major contenders, Anne Haug, Barbara Riveros Diaz, Ashleigh Gentle and Gwen Jorgensen made contact half way through the bike leg meaning it would come down to the 10km run.
Morrison was in a good position however the pace was too hot at the front and a lead pack pulled away. Olympic Silver medallist Lisa Norden sprinted to victory followed by Anne Haug in 2nd and Maaike Caelers in 3rd.
Morrison ran a 35 minute 10km which put her in a solid 14th place. With 3 weeks before the ITU Grand Final in Auckland, Triathlon Ireland's High Performance Director Chris Jones was pleased with the result.
"It was Aileen's first race in a number of weeks and she swam really well so we're looking forward to Auckland. There's a little bit more to come in the run but a top 10 or top 15 at the Grand Final would be an excellent result." commented Jones.
Also racing this weekend was up and coming triathlete Conor Murphy. Murphy raced the Mondello ITU European Cup alongside a number of top international athletes. Murphy just lost out in the sprint finish but his 5th place result is a career best at this level and a statement for the future.