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April 29, 2017

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Britain's Brownlee wins San Diego triathlon

SAN DIEGO -- Britain's Jonathan Brownlee, showing little rust from seven months away from competition, pulled away on the run and captured the ITU World Triathlon San Diego on Saturday with a time of 1 hour, 48, minutes 46 seconds.

Switzerland's Sven Riederer was second and South Africa's Richard Murray third in the event comprised of a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 1:48:52.

Brownlee, who along with his brother, Alistair, will be favored in the London Games, broke away from Murray in the second lap of the 10k run and finished the run in 30:01.

"We had to work really hard on the bike," Brownlee said. "It was different not having Alistair there because there were less aggressive people from the back. I found myself and Kris Gemmell (the 10th-place finisher from New Zealand) doing a lot of the work, but then on the run I went hard on the second lap."

Murray, who is the overall leader in the world championship series, finished third in 1:49:02, just ahead of Mario Mola of Spain, who was clocked in 1:49:08.

"The Series leader has been something I've wanted to win for the past four or five years. It's definitely an honor," Murray said.

Hunter Kemper of the United States finished fifth, enough to get him into the U.S. Olympic team for London, along with Manuel Huerta, who just squeezed into ninth — the last place that yielded a spot on the Olympic team.

"This is my first race of the year. I can't believe it. I'm over the moon," Kemper said. "It's a tremendous day for me. I didn't know if I would actually be back here. I went through so much. It's been a struggle, but there's no better feeling than representing the USA.

"Ultimately, you always want to settle it on a race course. You don't want a selection committee to decide who's going to the Olympic Games. I did that today and so did Manny."

Huerta was thrilled with making the U.S. team, saying "I never, never gave up on my dream."

"I battled through so many downs and ups, like many athletes, but I knew that today it was special. I was racing in my new country and I wanted to make my dream come true. For many young Hispanics like me, who come to America with that dream, they stick to their dream and they never give up."

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