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 > Home Page > About > Latest News > BUSY YEAR FOR AUSTRALIA'S ELITE ITU TRIATHLETES AND PARATRIATHLETES WITH RIO ON THEIR MINDS...VIA THE GOLD AND SUNSHINE COASTS

BUSY YEAR FOR AUSTRALIA'S ELITE ITU TRIATHLETES AND PARATRIATHLETES WITH RIO ON THEIR MINDS...VIA THE GOLD AND SUNSHINE COASTS


BUSY YEAR FOR AUSTRALIA'S ELITE ITU TRIATHLETES AND PARATRIATHLETES WITH RIO ON THEIR MINDS...VIA THE GOLD AND SUNSHINE COASTS

AUSTRALIA’S elite band of triathletes and paratriathletes are preparing for what will be their busiest year ever on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) circuit – with next year’s Rio Olympics and Paralympics squarely in their sights.

With the countdown on to the opening round of a record 10 World Triathlon Series races in Abu Dhabi (March 6 and 7), already the top echelon of the last two Australian Olympic teams, Emma Moffatt, Erin Densham, Emma Jackson, Courtney Atkinson and Brendan Sexton are again throwing their helmets into the five rings.

The Gold Coast will host round three of the WTS season on April 11-12 when the cream of the world’s Olympic distance triathletes converge on the glitter strip in an ITU season that will culminate in Chicago for the 2015 Grand Final from September 15-20.

Moffatt and fellow Glasgow Commonwealth Games representative Ashleigh Gentle were joined at the launch of the Gold Coast round at the picturesque Broadwater course yesterday by former ITU World Champion, Olympic silver medallist and Hall of Famer Loretta Harrop
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“It’s a dream come true to have a WTS race in our own home town, to have the home support will be amazing,” said Gentle.

Moffatt, too, knows how special it is to have such a big race on your back doorstep.
“To roll out of bed and onto the start line is great, I can’t wait,” said Moffatt, who started her season at the annual Kingscliff Triathlon two weeks ago after missing last year’s ITU World Championships. “I had to remind myself what to do…..”

The weekend will also feature the annual Luke Harrop Memorial age group race n what will top off a massive two-days of international triathlon with the WTS race showcased to the world on a live stream via the ITU webcast and on local television.

Throughout the year they will all be racing for valuable qualifying points as Australia’s triathletes chase a maximum six quota spots (three men and three women) for Rio as well as their own places on the team.

BAILIE WILSON ROYLE 



The final number of athletes to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for the 2016 Australian Olympic Team will be determined by the number of quota places qualified for Australia under the ITU Qualification System.

Individual nomination begins at the 2015 Rio de Janeiro ITU World Olympic Qualification Event and World Paratriathlon Event on August 1 and 2.

There is a major incentive riding on the Qualification event with the first Australian male and female home in the top 10 earning an automatic nomination to the 2016 Olympic team.

2016 AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM TRIATHLON AUSTRALIA LIMITED (TA) NOMINATION CRITERIA 

Paratriathlon will make its debut in Rio and Australia’s elite will be on show at the Sunshine Coast ITU Paratriathlon Event at Twin Waters ((March 13) – one of 10 World Paratriathlon Events (WPE) that starts in Buffalo City, South Africa on March 1.

The cream of Australia’s Paratriathletes, led by four-time ITU world champion Bill Chaffey and 2014 ITU World Champion Sally Pilbeam (WA) and including Brant Garvey (WA), Justin Godfrey (NSW), Jack Swift (VIC), Claire McLean (WA), and newcomer Emily Tapp (QLD) will be amongst the Australian contingent on the Sunshine Coast.

The hunt for qualification points in Paratriathlon will start on July 1, with the Iseo – Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Event - the first race to put points on the board. All of the WPE races from then until June 30, 2016 will be critical to secure one of the 60 available spots. More on the WPE calendar here.

Meanwhile London Olympic bronze medallist Densham and her 2012 teammate Atkinson will take their race schedules off road this weekend.

They will both line up in the Oceania CrossTri Championships in Lake Crackenback, where Densham is the defending champion.

Beijing bronze medallist and London Olympian Moffatt has long declared her desires to become triathlon’s first triple Olympian and she will waste no time getting into the swing of things, joining 213 Under 23 World Champion Charlotte McShane on the start line when UAE capital Abu Dhabi kick-starts the WTS season with its first foray into ITU racing.

Atkinson, a two-time Olympian (2008, 2012), climbed back into the ITU saddle at the Oceania Championships in Devonport last Saturday, finishing 10th in the Standard (Olympic Distance) race, won by exciting Tasmanian 20-year-old rising star, Jake Birtwhistle.

Following his Cross Tri event, Atkinson will be one of eight Australians, including Birtwhistle, named by Triathlon Australia to contest the Mooloolaba World Cup sprint race (March 14,15).
Dual Olympian and London bronze medallist, Densham, who trains in Scottsdale, Arizona in the USA, arrived home last weekend and will also head to the Sunshine Coast to join a host of Australian youngsters in the Mooloolaba World Cup field.

At 29, Densham, like Atkinson and Moffatt, can become a triple Olympian if she makes the team for Rio.

Also in the Mooloolaba field will be Commonwealth Games representative from Glasgow, Gentle and emerging stars Under 23 World Duathlon champion Gillian Backhouse, recently crowned Oceania champion Jaz Hedgeland and the gritty Grace Musgrove, who crashed in Devonport but recovered to run the 10km and finish second in the Australian Championship.

Densham will also line up in the New Plymouth World Cup (March 21,22) and round two of the WTS in Auckland (March 28,29) while Atkinson will be joined by some of Australia’s next generation of men Kenji Nener (WA) and Luke Willian (QLD), in New Plymouth.

Meanwhile Australia’s WTS rankings leaders from 2014, Ryan Bailie (ninth) and Aaron Royle (10th) will be joined by fellow Commonwealth Games debutant from Glasgow, Dan Wilson and 2012 London Olympian Brendan Sexton in the Abu Dhabi field.

The biggest names will all come together in Auckland for what will be the first “Clash of the Titans” contest for 2015 with Royle, Bailie and Wilson joined by Birtwhistle, who will make his WTS debut, Sexton and the consistent two-time World Championship team member from London and Edmonton, Cameron Good.

Birtwhistle will also line up in the OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup in his adopted home town of Wollongong on March 7,8 alongside a host of Australia’s leading juniors Matt Hauser, Luke Willian, Matt Roberts and Christian Wilson in the men’s field and in the women Brittany Dutton and Sophie Malowiecki who will be joined by Under 23s Grace Musgrove and Natalie Van Coevorden.

The women’s field in Auckland will feature Olympic bronze medallists Moffatt and Densham, 2012 London Olympian Emma Jackson, Commonwealth Games representative Gentle and Under 23 ITU World Champion Charlotte McShane and 2014 Under 23 ITU World Championship triathlon silver medallist from Edmonton, Backhouse.

TRI MEDALIST WOMENS 

 

It will be one of the few times since London 2012 that Moffatt, Densham and Jackson have been together in a major ITU race in what will be a huge show of strength by the Australian women.

ITU Abu Dhabi (UAE) World Triathlon Series (March 6,7)
Sprint Distance (750m; 20km; 5km)

MEN
Dan Wilson (QLD)
Aaron Royle (NSW)
Ryan Bailie (WA)
Brendan Sexton (NSW)
 
WOMEN
Emma Moffatt (QLD)
Charlotte McShane (NSW)

ITU Mooloolaba (AUS) World Cup (March 14,15)
Sprint Distance (750m; 20km; 5km)

MEN
Jake Birtwhistle (TAS)
Cameron Good (NSW)
Declan Wilson (ACT)
Kenji Nener (WA)
Courtney Atkinson (QLD)
Matt Baker (NSW)
Peter Kerr (VIC)
Jesse Featonby  (ACT)

WOMEN
Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)
Gillian Backhouse (QLD)
Natalie Van Coervorden (NSW)
Jaz Hedgeland (WA)
Erin Densham (NSW)
Grace Musgrove (NSW)
Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (WA)
Ellie Salthouse (QLD)
 
ITU New Plymouth (NZL) World Cup (March 21, 22)
Sprint Distance (750m; 20km; 5km)

MEN
Kenji Nener (WA)
Luke Willian (QLD)
Courtney Atkinson (QLD)
Drew Box (QLD)
Jesse Featonby (ACT)

WOMEN
Natalie Van Coervorden (NSW)
Grace Musgrove (NSW)
Erin Densham (NSW)
Felicity Sheedy-Ryan (WA)
Ellie Salthouse (QLD)

 
ITU Auckland (NZL) World Triathlon Series (March 28, 29)
Standard Distance (1.5km; 40km; 10km)
 

MEN
Aaron Royle (NSW)
Ryan Bailie (WA)
Dan Wilson (QLD)
Jake Birtwhistle (TAS)
Brendan Sexton (NSW)
Cameron Good (NSW)

WOMEN
Emma Moffatt (QLD)
Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)
Emma Jackson (QLD)
Gillian Backhouse (QLD)
Erin Densham (NSW)
Charlotte McShane (NSW)