Australia’s 2032 Olympians could well be on show when almost 200 of the country’s finest young triathletes kick start the 2022 Australian Youth & Junior Super Sprint Championships on the Gold Coast tomorrow (Monday).
The best Youth and Junior triathletes from across the country will be vying to be become the Australian Super Sprint Champion for 2022.
After two years with border restrictions forcing reduced numbers, a twist on one of the most successful and unique Pathway events in Australian sport, will be heading to the Gold Coast Performance Centre in Runaway Bay.
Action gets under way tomorrow with the 1500m run; Youth Aquathlon 400m/800m; Junior Le Mans 250m swim/7.5km run/250m swim, Youth Le Mans 250m swim/4.5km run/250m, Junior Aquathlon 400m swim/800m run and the Rookie Aquathlon 200m swim/800m run.
Tuesday will see the Junior Triple Sprint Triathlon 250m/6km/1.2km; Youth Double Sprint 250m/6km/1.2km and Rookie Triathlon 150m/4km/800m with the Youth and Junior Triathlon Finals 300/8km/1.6km (Rookies 200m/6km/1.2km) winding up the unique event on Wednesday.
Tokyo Olympians Jake Birtwhistle, Matt Hauser and Jaz Hedgeland are amongst many Runaway Super Sprint success stories – a format that divides traditional triathlon with Aquathlon (swim/run) and running events with pool swimming.
London Olympian and now Australia’s National Talent Development Coach, Brendan Sexton, is excited about welcoming back the next generation of triathletes from all around Australia, to an event format that has launched the careers of so many future triathlon stars.
“What I’m really looking forward to most will be seeing the growth across the two and half days in an event that is now firmly entrenched in the traditions of Australian triathlon,” said Sexton.
“The multi race format is a real opportunity for the athletes to experiment and try some new things, make mistakes along the way and comeback and try it again.
“Being able to produce that boldness and grit that we’re looking for in young athletes beyond just the physical ability.”
Because of the different formats athletes who might not yet be able to use their strengths to their advantage in a traditional triathlon, will get an opportunity to be at the front of the races.
“I think Jake Birtwhistle is a perfect example looking back to his early years while he was still developing his swim he often didn’t feature at the front of races,” said Sexton.
“But Runaway Bay gave him the opportunity to showcase his run which of course was always his big weapon and then over time, as triathlon does, is a long time development commitment, he got his swim up and it took him to the front of any format in the sport.
“It is here where it gave Jake the opportunity to be a little bit more versatile.
“And we know these athletes are going to be our next Olympians and leaders in our sport.
“It’s also a good opportunity for the coaches guiding our Pathway programs to be consolidated and work together.”
Sexton lived through the build up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the build up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and says he doesn’t think the current athletes know what lies on the road ahead to Brisbane in 2032.
“I don’t think these kids quite know what’s coming for them with the build up to 2032 and how exciting and how much sport is going to be at the forefront and with South East Queensland being the home of triathlon it’s going to be massive,” said Sexton.
The 2022 Australian Youth & Junior Super Sprint Championships held at the Gold Coast Performance Centre, proudly supported by Major Events Gold Coast, will continue to provide the opportunities for our future stars.