Australian Junior Triathlon Series champions Sophie Malowiecki and Matt Hauser will spearhead a six strong junior team named by Triathlon Australian today for this year’s ITU World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico in September.
For 18-year-old Queenslander, Malowiecki it will be the fourth time she has been named on a World Championship team after previous teams in 2015 in Chicago, 2014 in Edmonton and 2013 in London.
And she will be looking for a change in fortune after crashing her bike in 2014 and being forced out of last year’s team with injury.
It will be the second time Hauser has qualified for a World Championships finishing a close-up sixth in Chicago last year – a race that was reduced to a duathlon after a thunderstorm forced officials to cancel the swim section.
Both Malowiecki and Hauser have had dominant seasons, with Hauser earning automatic nominations after winning the Australian and Oceania Junior Championships, while Malowiecki took the Australian Junior Championships. They were also successful in taking out the prestigious 2016 Australian Junior Triathlon Series titles.
Neither are shying away from the fact that they will go to Mexico chasing podium finishes.
“I couldn’t have been happier after my domestic season successes after the move from Hervey Bay to join coach Dan Atkins on the Gold Coast, earlier this year” said Hauser.
“And I can’t wait for Cozumel where I’ll definitely be chasing a podium finish.”
Malowiecki too knows she has the ability to earn a top-three finish as she continues to work through the processes that have given her a huge confidence boost leading into her Cozumel campaign.
“It has been an unfortunate few years and I will definitely be looking for a change of luck that’s for sure but I feel my training under Steve Moss and Josh White at Pine Rivers Tri Club has set me up for a successful world championships,” said Malowiecki.
“I’ve had a pretty hard few years but it will be important to continue to follow the processes; it’s not so much about focusing on the big picture but about getting the processes right.”
Joining Malowiecki in the women’s team will be first timers Jessica Claxton (WA) and Zoe Leahy (QLD) while Liam McCoach (WA) and Kye Wylde (QLD) will make up the men’s team for Cozumel.
Jessica Claxton finished the season off strongly by winning the Oceania Junior Championships in New Zealand and the School Sport Australia Triathlon Championships in Hervey Bay. While Zoe Leahy, a product of Goondiwindi makes her debut in the Australian Junior Team after finishing 3rd in both selection races at Devonport, Tasmania and Gisborne, New Zealand. In the junior mens team Western Australian athlete, Liam McCoach was selected after an outstanding season finishing 2nd in Australian Junior Championships in Devonport behind Hauser, and grabbing 3rd at Oceania Junior Championships in New Zealand. Gold Coast athlete Kye Wylde's impressive season was rewarded with selection onto the team after he finished 3rd behind Hauser & McCoach in the Australian Junior Triathlon Series.
Credit: Delly Carr
There will be two non-travelling reserves in Kurt McDonald (VIC) and Brittany Dutton (QLD).
Craig Redman, Triathlon Australia National Manager High Performance Pathway said, “The 2016 Australian Junior Triathlon Team is an exciting team of talented athletes with a good mixture of junior athletes with previous worlds experience and first timers. I wish to pass on my congratulations to all athletes, their home coaches and families on their selection into the Australian Junior Team.
"Mexico will be a significant challenge for our young developing athletes, particularly with the travel and heat. As part of the junior teams preparation for Cozumel we will be undertaking a short tour to Asia in July to compete in the heat and humidity of Osaka, Japan and Singapore. The future is looking very bright indeed with a number of extremely talented athletes just missing out on selection for this year’s team, which I am confident they will be pushing for a spot on the team in 2017 and beyond."
Australian Junior Triathlon Team, ITU World Triathlon Championships, Cozumel, Mexico, September 11-18, 2016:
Matthew HAUSER (18yrs, Hervey Bay, QLD) – Coach: Dan Atkins
Liam McCOACH (18yrs, Duncraig, WA) – Coach: Steven Gleeson
Kye WYLDE (19yrs, Miami, QLD) – Coach: Dan Atkins
Non-Travelling Reserve: Kurt McDONALD (17yrs Camperdown, VIC) – Coach: Deiter McDonald
Jessica CLAXTON (16yrs, Kinross, WA) – Coach: Stuart Denton
Zoe LEAHY (18yrs, Goondiwindi, QLD) – Coach: Josh White
Sophie MALOWIECKI (18yrs, Wilston, QLD) – Coach: Steve Moss
Non-Travelling Reserve: Brittany DUTTON (18yrs, Warner, QLD) – Coach: Josh White
Dan ATKINS (QLD) – Junior Men Team Coach
Joshua WHITE (QLD) – Junior Women Team Coach
Stuart DENTON (WA) – Assistant Junior Team Coach/International Coach Development Scholarship