As Australian triathletes launch themselves into the 2020 triathlon season with this weekend’s Mooloolaba World Cup, all eyes will be on the season ahead with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics growing closer.
To help you follow along as our Aussie athletes chase Olympic quota places and qualification points, we’ve put together this handy guide.
HOW IT WORKS
Australia will qualify two quota positions for both genders if Australia finishes in the Top 7 in the Mixed Relay World Series by March 31, 2020. They’re currently ranked number two.
In order to secure a third spot for each gender, Australia will need to have three athletes inside the Top 30 of the Indiviudual Olympic Qualification Ranking by May 11, 2020.
All nominations will be at the discretion of the Triathlon Australia Elite Selection Committee, as no Australian was able to secure their nomination at the Automatic Nomination Event in 2019.
The Australian triathlon team will be announced late June, while the Mixed Relay team will be announced following the individual events on August 1, 2020.
WHO TO WATCH
Off the back of a breakout 2019 season, Jake Birtwhistle will lead the charge for the Australians seeking Olympic selection. With two World Triathlon Series (WTS) wins under his belt, Birtwhistle will be looking to recreate some of his 2019 success as he chases selection into his first Olympic team.
Experienced Rio Olympian Aaron Royle will continue to push for his second Olympic team selection through the 2020 season. A previous WTS podium athlete, Royle will be one to watch across both individual and team events, with the Novocastrian boasting a strong skill set to perform well in both disciplines.
Rio Olympic teammates Ryan Bailie and Ryan Fisher will also be continuing their campaign for their second consecutive Olympic team selection. Fisher will be looking to hit hard early in the 2020 season as he continues his return to ITU racing following a stint in long course. While Bailie will be eyeing up some key Olympic qualification points off the back of a solid 2019.
Young guns Matt Hauser and Luke Willian will be looking to carry their 2019 momentum into the Olympic year, with the pair securing a number of impressive results including a Top 10 WTS finish for Willian and Hauser and Hauser’s Chengdu and Nur-Sultan World Cup wins.
Rising star Brandon Copeland aims to continue his recent run of success into the 2020 season, following his fifth-place finish amongst the U23s at the 2019 World Triathlon Grand Final.
Ashleigh Gentle will launch into her 2020 campaign with a newfound passion for the sport following her record-breaking victory at the 2019 Noosa Triathlon. A proven individual performer and a Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay gold medallist, fans can expect to see a re-energised Gentle make her mark on 2020 in her bid for nomination to a second Olympic team.
Emma Jackson heralded her return to world-class form last July, securing her maiden WTS victory. Following a prolonged stint battling injury, the 2012 London Olympian’s return to form heralds an exciting season ahead for the Queenslander.
A motivated Natalie Van Coevorden will also be heading into the 2020 season with confidence on her side following a string of good results in 2019. Taking home a top 10 finish at WTS Bermuda and bronze in the Mixed Relay World Championships, Van Coevorden will be looking to capitalise on her growing momentum as she vies for her first Olympic team.
Off the back of a breakout 2019 season, Jaz Hedgeland finds herself in good form heading into the Olympic year. Claiming a handful of Top 10 WTS finishes in 2019, the West Australian will be one to keep an eye on as she kicks off her 2020 season at the Mooloolaba World Cup.
Emma Jeffcoat looks set to maintain and build upon her recent form through the upcoming season. Following a string of success through 2019 including a World Cup win at Tiszaujvaros and Mixed Relay gold at Abu Dhabi World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series, Jeffcoat has her eyes on solidifying herself as an all-round performer in the season ahead.
2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games teammates Gillian Backhouse, and Charlotte McShane will take their racing up a notch in 2020. With the pair already banking stellar results at the 2020 Oceania Sprint Championships, both Backhouse and McShane look set rise above their 2019 injury battles as they vie for nomination into their first Olympic team.
Emerging talent Kelly-Ann Perkins will also be one to keep an eye out for in 2020. After securing her maiden World Cup medal in Tiszaujvaros and a Top 10 WTS finish in Edmonton in 2019, Perkins heads into her first race of the season with momentum and form on her side.
DATES YOU NEED TO KNOW
11 May ’20 – End of ITU Olympic Qualification Period
1 June ’20 – TA Qualification Period closes
2 June ’20 – Triathlon Australia Elite Selection Committee (TAESC) meet to decide remaining nominated Athletes
21 June ’20 – Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Nomination Date
12 July ’20 – Final Australian Triathlon Team Media Day
14 July ’20 – Start of Olympics blackout period
24 July ’20 – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Opening Ceremony
27 July ’20 – Men’s Olympic Triathlon
28 July ’20 – Women’s Olympic Triathlon
1 August ’20 – Mixed Relay Selection
1 August ’20 – Mixed Relay Triathlon Event
9 August ’20 – Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony
11 August ’20 – Final day of Olympic blackout period
Photo Credit: Delly Carr | Triathlon Australia