Triathlon Australia today announced the 10-strong squad that will compete at the 2019 Tokyo ITU World Olympic Qualification Event to be held on 15-18 August 2019 at Obaiba Marine Park, Tokyo, and the team that will take on the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne two weeks later.
The race will give athletes their first chance to test the course ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next August. But the bigger prize, a chance of automatic selection for the first Australian male and female that finishes on the podium.
Jacob Birtwhistle and Ashleigh Gentle secured automatic selection to the Qualification Event next month based on their performances at 2018 WTS Yokohama and ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast.
Joining them, NSW athletes and former Olympian Aaron Royle (Maitland Triathlon Club), Ryan Fisher (2016) and Emma Jackson (2012) along with 2018 Commonwealth Games representatives Luke Willian and Matthew Hauser.
While New South Wales pair Emma Jeffcoat (Warringah Tri Club) and Natalie Van Coevorden (Macarthur Tri Club) have been rewarded for their consistent performances along with Western Australia’s Jaz Hedgeland.
The squad will race individually and potentially for a position on the Mixed Relay team.
There are just two changes to the Elite team named for Lausanne, Rio Olympian Ryan Bailie steps in as Matt Hauser will race the Under 23 category and Charlotte McShane the bronze medallist from the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final replaces Emma Jeffcoat.
Hauser will have the chance to add the Under 23 World Championship to his Junior title from 2017.
Gold Coast training partners Brandon Copeland and Kira Hedgeland join Hauser. Also betting the call up Brisbane pair Joanne Miller and Matt Roberts along with Sunshine Coast based Romy Wolstencroft. Whilst Brandon currently trains in QLD, he was a member of Triathlon NSW and Tweed Valley Tri Club as a junior, hence we officially claim his as a New South Welshman.