‘I’m ready to hurt’: Jones fires up for debut Oceania Triathlon Super Sprint Championships

2 May 2024

Photo Credit: Con Chronis

Racing doesn’t get more brutal than this.

The first ever Oceania Triathlon Super Sprint Championship titles are up for grabs at the Gold Coast Performance Centre this Friday.

And in an event format with qualifiers, repechages, semi-finals and finals, athletes could potentially race four times in a single day.

For the women, three qualifiers determine the finalists, with the top two from each directly advancing. Those who miss out get a shot at redemption in the two repechages, where only the top five from each move on, forming a field of 16 for the final.

The men’s competition features three qualifiers. The top four from each qualifier secure their spots in the semi-finals, while the remaining athletes face the challenge of two repechages. Only the top five from each repechage earn their ticket to the semi-finals, where the field narrows down the top eight from each, resulting in 16 athletes for the final.

Each race consists of a 150m swim, 4km bike ride, and a 1km run.

Friday’s event boasts a formidable female field, which includes top-level competition alongside promising up-and-comers.

Olympian Emma Jeffcoat and Commonwealth Games representative Charlotte McShane lead the charge, bringing a wealth of experience to the starting line. Joining them are Kira Hedgeland and Tara Sosinski. All four’s last start came at the recent World Triathlon Cup in Wollongong.

Adding to the lineup is rising star Aspen Anderson, who’ll be making her elite debut on home ground in the Gold Coast.

The 17-year-old’s stellar junior career boasts dual-Commonwealth Youth Games gold medals and Oceania Triathlon Junior Sprint Champion, Australian Junior Sprint Champion, and dual-Australian Junior Super Sprint Champion titles.

Reflecting on the unique format of the Oceania Triathlon Super Sprint Championships, Jeffcoat shared she enjoys competing in this style of racing.

“I’ve done numerous years of Super League Triathlon racing or Supertri as it’s now known,” she said.

“These races are some of my favourite where it’s on from the start and you have to think on your feet to stay in the game and make it until the final round.

“Knowing I’ve done the work in training to physically race back-to-back helps to be calm and composed mentally as the racing ramps up. I try to stay relaxed between rounds & have fun with the short, sharp format.”

Lachlan Jones leads the charge in the men’s field, fresh off his career-best performance with an 11th place finish at the World Triathlon Cup Wollongong. He’s joined by Brayden Mercer, who’s put together a strong continental season in his first year out of the junior ranks.

The men’s field is also packed with impressive junior talent eager to gain experience in an elite race, including rising stars such as Jack Latham, Billy Zavetsanos, Joel Offord, and Mitchell Blackbourn.

For Jones, confidence is at an all-time high as he prepares to tackle the race’s demanding format head-on.

“Wollongong was a big confidence booster for me. It showed me that I have what it takes to compete at the next level and perform well against tough competition,” Jones said.

“I’m feeling as confident as ever heading, especially as one of the more experienced athletes in the field.

“I’m fully aware that the race will push me to my limits, both physically and mentally. Racing multiple times in a single day is a real test of grit and focus. But I’m ready to hurt and leave everything out on the course.”

Oceania Triathlon Super Sprint Championships
Friday, May 3, from 10:30 AM AEST

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