July 30, 2014: Australia’s Commonwealth Games triathlon team will spearhead a 10-strong Triathlon Australia Elite team named for this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Edmonton next month (August 26-September 1).
In the women’s team, former two-time ITU World Champion Emma Moffatt, former Under 23 World Champion Emma Jackson and former ITU World Junior champion Ashleigh Gentle will be joined by 2013 Under 23 World Champion Charlotte McShane.
The Glasgow men’s team of Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie and Dan Wilson will be bolstered by the inclusion of 2012 London Olympian Brendan Sexton, who will be joined by 2013 team member Cameron Good and rising star Ryan Fisher.Australia’s Commonwealth Games team finished their Glasgow campaign on a high with a spirited bronze medal performance in the first ever, Mixed Teams Relay, which featured Moffatt, Jackson, Royle and Bailie.
Anchorman Bailie, who kept his nerve to take Australia from fifth to bronze, has arrived back into his European training base in Vitoria Spain this week to ensure his preparation is on track after suffering a minor foot injury in the lead up to Glasgow.
“It is purely precautionary. The treatment I had leading into Glasgow meant I had a pain-free competition but I am not prepared to take any risks leading into Edmonton so I thought it best to head back to Vitoria to stay on top of it,” said Bailie, who came of age with his brilliant final leg and his fifth placing behind the Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan and Richard Murray (South Africa).
“I will take a lot of confidence from that relay race and I really enjoyed the pressure that went with the individual race and that final leg and to cross the line for the bronze was a huge thrill for me and the team.
“I am now looking to prepare for another big race in Edmonton – I can’t wait.”
Moffatt, disappointed with her form in Glasgow, has also left the Games Village to return to her base in Girona in Spain.
Jackson, the best of the Australians in the Games individual race, with her hard-fought fifth, produced a brilliant leg in the Mixed Teams Relay to set up Bailie’s final leg.
She has also returned to Aix les Bains in France with coach Stephen Moss to kick-start her Edmonton preparation, knowing only too well she is within striking distance of a podium finish in the WTS pointscore.
A strong finish in double points Edmonton finale, could well see her achieve a career-first top three in the overall rankings.
Jackson is sitting in fourth on 2419 points behind Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 3885, Commonwealth Games champion Jodie Stimpson (Great Britain) 2982 and Helen Jenkins (Great Britain) 2666.
Jenkins missed the Commonwealth Games after injuring her Plantar Fascia in the ITU round in Hamburg two weeks before Glasgow.
Wilson and Royle, Gentle will stay in Glasgow until Sunday’s Closing Ceremony, training under the watchful eyes of Triathlon Australia National Performance director Bernard Savage.
“Each of the athletes had choices once their competition finished and that’s a good thing,” said Savage.
“The atmosphere in the Village is great and to combine training with the Village life and getting out and supporting the other sports is great for those guys.”Savage is excited with the addition of McShane, Sexton, Good and Fisher who will come into the bolster the biggest Elite team in recent years.
“They have all raced consistently throughout the WTS and certainly deserve their selection,” said Savage.
“It will be exciting to have a real presence in both races in the Elite fields and for those guys to come in and lead the Under 23s, Juniors and ParaTri teams in the Australian team.
“We will also have a host of Age Group representatives and come August in September there will be green and gold army in Edmonton.”
AUSTRALIAN TRIATHLON ELITE TEAM, ITU World Triathlon Series, Edmonton, Canada, August 25-September 1, 2014:
Women: E Moffatt (QLD), E Jackson (QLD), A Gentle (QLD, C McShane (NSW). Men: A Royle (NSW), R Bailie (WA), D Wilson (QLD), B Sexton (NSW), C Good (NSW), R Fisher (VIC).
Photo Credit: Delly Carr / ITU Media