Defending champion of the Goodstone Group Devonport Triathlon Marcel Walkington is a confirmed starter for the March 18 Olympic distance event.
Fresh off his debut performance at his first World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi on the weekend, Walkington said his confidence was high after his 13th placing.
“I was very pleased with it. I didn’t have the best swim, but it was good enough to be up there. It was a different experience racing so many people around you, so it was rougher than expected.
“On the bike there was a lot more depth and people trying to push the pace, then on the run I just tried to hang on to some of the faster guys and then try to stick to my pace from then on,” Walkington said.
The 23 year old recalls his victory in Devonport last season clearly, with North St hill sticking in his mind as the secret to performing well in the race.
“Last year was great. Devonport was a key race for me at the start of the season. Our training group in Melbourne focused as much as we could around the Devonport Triathlon, so it was good to perform well there and get a good result.
“I remember a tough bike leg with the hill and then in the run I just tried to go our hard and make myself suffer from the start and it kind of worked. It was a relief to cross the line, but it was a great result,” he added.
Walkington’s training partner Matt Baker will also travel down for the Devonport Triathlon, after mixed emotions on his performance in Abu Dhabi.
The Melbourne based athlete finished one place behind Walkington in the Persian Gulf race, before being disqualified for missing a timing mat on the swim leg.
Walkington said he expected both he and Baker to feature high in the placings next weekend and gave some insights on how he thought the race will pan out.
“Matt and I have had some good sessions together. We’re both so similar, we can both work each other. The weekends race was a good confidence booster and our training in Melbourne has been going well.
“I expect a hard bike again and I think Matt wants to go hard and so do I. We’ll try and work to our strengths. Hopefully there is a bit of surf as well in the swim,” Walkington added.
The New Zealand born Walkington then outlined his plans for the rest of the season after his attempted title defence in Devonport.
“I’ve been selected for the Gold Coast world triathlon series and my eyes will be set for that after Devonport, as it is a Commonwealth Games selection race,” the Civil Engineering graduate declared.
Devonport Triathlon feature a number of events, including;
- Tri It (Community Triathlon). 250m Swim/10km Ride/3km Run
- Tri Kids
- National Age Group Standard Distance Qualifying Race – 1500m Swim/40k Ride/10k Run
- OTU Para-Triathlon Oceania Championships
- Australian Elite/U23 Standard Distance Triathlon Championships Oceania Cup
Sunday 19th March will see Devonport Sportspower Run Devonport, with distances of 10km, 5km, 2.5km and 1km.
Further information, contact:
- Mike Bonney (Event Director) – 0459 117 221
- Richard Welsh (PR Manager) – 0409 820 248