Rifkin’s impressive debut in Holland

Triathlete Daniel Rifkin.

A BRILLIANT swim and a solid run in Rotterdam last month helped Sydney’s Daniel Rifkin shave 10 minutes off his personal best time to finish his first ITU Triathlon Age Group World Championships in two hours, 13 minutes and 16 seconds.

It was enough for Rifkin – who only switched from swimming to triathlon 10 months ago in time to win silver at the Maccabiah Games – to secure 61st place out of 118 in the men’s 30-34 category.

The 31-year-old told The AJN last week from Holland he is happy with the result, but knows he needs to work on cycling.

“It was an epic experience with the whole atmosphere on the urban course around Rotterdam port, there was a very close field, and another five-minute drop would have equalled 30th place,” Rifkin said.

His highlight was finishing the 1.5km swim leg in just 20 minutes and 10 seconds – the fastest time in one of two waves of 60 competitors.

“My run was great too [37 minutes and 54 seconds], but I lost ground on the bike leg.

“It was a very technical course on a wet surface, and I have huge respect for the skill of my competitors – the speed they took corners on was just so impressive.

“I believe there’s another 10-minute drop within me and I look forward to getting back into training in a few weeks for the start of qualifiers for the 2018 worlds, which will be held in the Gold Coast.”

His father, Julian, also competed at the world championships in the men’s 60-64 age group, finishing 73rd.

SHANE DESIATNIK