The Capital is the place to be this weekend, with The Capital Trilogy Triathlon taking place in Canberra and a jam-packed schedule of events for the first event of the 2019 Triathlon Australia’s Performance Calendar.
It’s the second round of the Australian Junior and Youth Triathlon Series, and 170 of the country’s most promising athletes will contest two Super Sprint triathlon events on Saturday, with the combined times from the two triathlon events deciding the podium places for the weekend.
The Gold Coast hosted round one in December with the final event in Devonport, Tasmania, in March, athletes will be putting it all on the line to gain maximum points. The Junior line up is looking strong, with all three rounds of the series counting towards the series pointscore; however, Youth athletes will use their best two events towards the series total.
Leaders of the Junior Series, Lachlan Jones will be aiming to continue his form from the Super Sprint Race Weekend; however, Oscar Dart and Luke Harvey didn’t make it easy for him, with the final podium order only being decided in the final event with a breakaway from Jones late in the run. Dart and Harvey finished on equal points, with Dart being awarded the second place in round one and the series to date due to a lower overall time by 6 seconds. Dual 16-19-year-old Sprint World Champion, Harvey, is expected to pushing the pace this weekend.
Jones, having recently moved to the new Bond University Triathlon squad under of Olympian and Olympic-medalist coach, Craig Walton, is now starting to see the benefits of more consistent training.
“I’ve been coaching Lachlan for around 5 months now. He has come from being a very talented athlete who trained and raced sporadically to a mentally strong medal contender who trains and races consistently like a pro,” said Walton.
“He has a huge future in the sport of triathlon and I have no doubt he will give all the athletes a run for their money in Canberra this weekend”.
In the Junior women’s field, series leader Emily Jamogotchian is lining up as the one to beat, with Chloe McLennan and Jazi Coventry hoping to change the podium results from round one. New Zealand’s Brea Rodrick will be ensuring she keeps the pressure on the Aussie women, although Rodrick is not eligible for Series points.
“I was really excited with Emily’s performance at Runaway Bay. She should do well in ACT as the course suits her,” said Jamogotchian’s coach of five years, Mick Ferris.
The inclusion of Charlotte Derbyshire could also mix things up for the Junior Women’s results. Derbyshire missed round one after relocating from South Australia to to train with National Performance Centre Head Coach, Dan Atkins on the Gold Coast
Derbyshire had a busy 2018, representing Australia at the Youth Olympic Games and World Championships as well as finishing her secondary school studies.
Despite winning a silver medal in the Mixed Relay team at the Youth Olympics, where Derbyshire and fellow Aussie Josh Ferris combined with athletes from New Zealand, Charlotte felt that neither of her individual major events in 2018 quite went to plan, so has spent the first month with Atkins getting back to basics and understanding what High Performance triathlon is, and the mechanics involved.
“I’m in the process of working with Charlotte to transition her from what she knows about Junior racing, to play the long game of triathlon as a performance athlete.
“Char had a huge year in 2018 and is now adjusting to the Gold Coast, so we’ll see if the things we have been working on are able to translate to her racing this weekend. I’m pretty sure she is hungry and ready to give it a crack,” said Atkins.
Racing will continue on Sunday for the Junior and Youth athletes, with the Australian Mixed Relay Championships being contested, as well as the inclusion of the Mixed Relay format being available to clubs and Age Group competitors for the first time in an official event.
The Mixed Teams Relay – the event won by an Australian team at the Commonwealth Games and a silver medal in the World Championships in Hamburg – has certainly gained momentum since its announcement on the program for Tokyo 2020 and provides yet another racing opportunity for athletes to fine tune their skills.
The weekend also includes opportunities for kids and Age Group athletes to compete in multiple events, with a Super Sprint triathlon event on Saturday morning and the ACT Aquathlon Championships on Saturday afternoon.
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