Ongoing health issues have forced Australia’s two-time World champion Emma Moffatt to withdraw from this year’s ITU World Triathlon Championships Grand Final in Edmonton later this month.
The 29-year-old Moffatt has struggled to regain the form that saw her finish third in last year’s Grand Final in London, to gain automatic selection for the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Championships get underway on August 26 and culminate with the Elite men’s and women’s races on August 31.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist has revealed that “on-going health issues” compounded by a training fall in Hamburg, prior to the final ITU race leading into the Games has forced her to make the tough decision to withdraw from the 10-strong Australian Elite Team.
Moffatt returned to her Spanish training-base in Girona just two days after her Games debut in Glasgow to prepare for Edmonton but has succumbed to her on-going problems.
Leading into Glasgow she had convinced herself that she was 100 percent after the Hamburg fall, which forced her out of the race with bruised ribs, breathing problems and a bruised shin.
Moffatt said she was quite upset at having to withdraw from Hamburg, saying she struggled to breathe and admitting she had two out of three good legs (in most races) and that she had not been able to pull it together had been quite disappointing.
The 2009 and 2010 ITU World Champion went on to finish a disappointed seventh in Glasgow in a race won by Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson with fifth-placed Emma Jackson Australia’s best.
“I guess I just haven’t been 100 percent at any stage of my preparation for Glasgow and I couldn’t put my finger on it, hoping I would come good,” Moffatt said from Girona today.
“I have had a long talk with my coach Shaun Stephens in consultation with Triathlon Australia National Performance Manager Bernard Savage and we all agree it is in my best long term best interests to by-pass Edmonton.
“It’s disappointing to have to withdraw from any Australian team and I was hoping to get it all together for Edmonton, but things have not improved since Glasgow and I’ve had no alternative but to withdraw from the team.
“I will return to Australia, get checked out and have a break before getting ready to race in the Australian summer and start the Olympic Qualification period.
“I have committed to train through for the Rio Olympics – to make my third Olympics is still my major goal but I know I have to listen to my body at the moment if I’m going to have any chance of qualifying for 2016.
“I wish the team all the best in Edmonton and will be watching on wishing I was there at my best.”
Moffatt has been a mainstay of the Australian women’s Elite ranks for the past eight years since starting out as a promising former surf lifesaver, breaking in to triathlon at 17.
Australia will now take a team of nine Elites into Edmonton including three girls, Glasgow girls Jackson and Ashleigh Gentle and 2012 Under 23 world champion Charlotte McShane, who moves up into the Elite ranks.
AUSTRALIAN TRIATHLON TEAM
ITU World Triathlon Series GRAND FINAL, Edmonton, Canada, August 25-September 1, 2014:
Emma Jackson (QLD)
Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)
Charlotte McShane (NSW)
Aaron Royle (NSW)
Ryan Bailie (WA)
Dan Wilson (QLD)
Brendan Sexton (NSW)
Cameron Good (NSW)
Ryan Fisher (VIC)
Gillian Backhouse (QLD)
Kelly-Ann Perkins (QLD)
Declan Wilson (ACT)
Kenji Nener (QLD)
Matthew Baker (NSW)
Jaz Hedgeland (WA) Injured
Kira Hedgeland (WA)
Sophie Malowiecki (QLD)
Brittany Dutton (QLD)
Mikala Falconer (WA) Non Travelling Reserve
Jacob Birtwhistle (TAS)
Daniel Coleman (QLD)
Calvin Quirk (QLD)
Matthew Roberts (QLD) Travelling Reserve
Bill Chaffey (NSW) PT1
Nic Beveridge (QLD) PT1
Brant Garvey (WA) PT2
Justin Godfrey (VIC) PT4
Jack Swift (VIC) PT4
Jonathon Goerlach (ACT) PT5
Claire McLean (WA) PT4
Sally Pilbeam (WA) PT3