Over 150 of Australia’s hottest young triathletes will assemble in Canberra this weekend for the opening round of the Scody Australian Junior Triathlon Series.
Triathlon Australia has received record entries in both the Junior and Youth categories for tomorrow’s racing, which begins at 8:30am with the Youth Females; followed by the Youth Male event at 9:30am; Junior Females at 10.30am and Junior Males at 11.45am.
There will be a field of 57 lining up in the Junior Men; 45 in the Junior women; 28 in the Youth Men and 26 in the Youth Females.
The Junior men will feature the likes of Queensland’s Matthew Hauser, fifth in this year’s ITU World Junior Championships in Chicago; Liam Burton (ACT), Kurt McDonald (VIC), Lorcan Redmond (NSW) and Kye Wylde and Elliot Schultz (QLD) while in the women a battle royal can be expected between Queenslanders, Youth Olympic gold medallist Brittany Dutton, fellow ITU World Championship representative Sophie Malowiecki, defending Series champion Kira Hedgeland and Jess Claxton (WA), Ellie Hoitink (ACT) and Sam Whitting (QLD).
Hauser, a two-time Oceania Junior champion won the Scody Series in 2014 and is regarded as one of the rising stars of Australian junior ranks but knows he won’t get things all his own way from a younger brigade, which incudes last year’s Youth Series winner, Redmond.
The Junior Females sees Dutton, Malowiecki and defending Series champion Hedgeland joined by last year’s Youth Series winner Hoiting.
Malowiecki has been in good form already this season, while Hedgeland has just finished her final Year 12 exams in WA, after declaring herself unavailable for the Chicago World’s team.
The Canberra race is the first of four key events throughout the 2015-16 season with competitors racing against their peers, battling for Scody Series points and the Australian Junior Triathlon Series Title.
The series also incorporates the Australian Junior & Youth Triathlon Championships as well as the Oceania Junior Triathlon Championships.
ITU Junior (16-19) athletes can be selected from race performances in the AJTS to represent Australian at the ITU World Junior Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico next year.
The racing will take place in and around Lake Burley Griffin, Parkes Way and Parliament House – also taking in the National Archives Building and Old Parliament House.
“The numbers are very encouraging, especially in the Junior Females, so we are going to be in for some great races,” said Craig Redman, Triathlon Australia’s National Manager – High Performance Pathway.
“It’s a change from our usual opening round, which is normally on the Gold Coast, but on-going work in preparation for the Commonwealth Games have forced us to move from the Sports Super Centre at Runaway Bay to Canberra.
“The chance to showcase our best juniors and youth triathletes in the Nation’s Capital will present a wonderful opportunity for all concerned.
“It will also give those athletes and coaches selected for our National Development Camp, immediately preceding the opening races the invitation to experience the AIS and all it has to offer.
“It will be the first time the NDC has been held at the AIS and to take advantage of the world class training and recovery facilities, plus utilise the services of some of the world’s leading sports scientists will present a wonderful opportunity.”