‘I’m targeting Paris’: Hoitink eyes Olympic dream at World Triathlon Championship Series debut

23 May 2024

Eight months ago, Ellie Hoitink was laying in a Spanish hospital with a rod and six screws in her collarbone.

This weekend she’ll make her World Triathlon Championship Series debut in Cagliari, with sights set on Olympic Games selection.

It was back in September at last year’s Under 23 World Championships in Pontevedra when Hoitink suffered the most severe injury of her career. On the second lap of the bike course when her bike clipped another rider’s wheel, sending her crashing hard to the road.

“I had my wheel chopped in the race and did what they tell you not to do – put my arm out,” Hoitink said.

“My collarbone fractured in three places. I had a rod and six screws placed in my arm.

“Coming back, I wasn’t sure what was going to be realistic. Or what the recovery looked like. It took months to get back to swimming and full strength.”

Despite the gruelling recovery process, Hoitink made a triumphant return to competition, starting the 2024 season with a series of strong performances.

Her season soared with a fourth-place finish at the Oceania Triathlon Sprint Championship in Devonport before victory at the Oceania Triathlon Standard Championships in Taupo. A career-best seventh place at the World Triathlon Cup in Wollongong followed the next weekend, positioning her as arguably Australia’s top-performing female athlete this year.

The 23-year-old is now set to step up to the World Triathlon Championship Series in Cagliari this weekend, a race that will see her meet the Eligibility Criteria for potential selection to the Australian Olympic Team.

Hoitink concedes her strong start to the season has led her to reshape her goals for 2024.

“Initially, my aim was to gain experience and improve gradually. However, with these strong performances, my aspirations have grown,” Hoitink said.

“The strong start to the season has made the idea of representing Australia at the Olympics more concrete, fuelling my determination and focus to achieve this lifelong ambition.

“Early successes have reinforced my belief in my training and preparation, proving that I can compete at a high level.

“Now, I’m targeting Paris and aiming to consistently perform at an elite level throughout the season. This early momentum has driven me to push even harder and set more ambitious targets as the year progresses.”

The Brisbane-based athlete remains level-headed, continuing to focus on the process rather than fixating on Olympic selection heading into Cagliari.

“My primary focus this weekend is on the process and my immediate goals,” Hoitink said.

“I believe that by concentrating on executing my race strategy effectively and staying present in each moment, the bigger goal of qualifying for Paris will naturally follow.

“Balancing this goal involves maintaining a strong focus on my training, race execution, and mental preparation. By trusting the process and giving my best effort in Cagliari, I believe the results will take care of themselves.”

With Cagliari marking the final event in the Olympic Games Performance Period, it represents Australia’s female triathletes last opportunity to impress selectors and vie for their chance to represent Australia at the Games.

Hoitink will be joined by Jaz Hedgeland, Charlotte McShane, Natalie Van Coevorden, and Sophie Linn, each eager to make their case for a place in Paris.

Australia currently holds two male and two female quota spots for the Games, after securing fifth position in the Olympic Mixed Relay rankings, also guaranteeing a start in the Mixed Team Relay event.

The two male quota spots have been filled by Matt Hauser and Luke Willian, who secured automatic nominations, with the latter set to take the start line in Cagliari following a career-best bronze at the World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama.

The two female quota spots will be filled by the Elite Selection Committee via discretionary nomination, with Australia’s Olympic Triathlon team to be announced in June.

Joining Willian on the start line in the men’s race is Brandon Copeland and Callum McClusky.

While the two men’s places in Paris have been determined, there remains a slim chance of Australia securing a third quota spot this weekend.

Currently, Matt Hauser holds the highest ranking among Australian male triathletes, sitting at 5th in the Olympic Qualification Rankings, followed by Luke Willian in 25th, and Brandon Copeland in 44th.

Olympic qualification rules stipulate; nations can obtain three quota places if they are represented by three athletes in the top 30 places of the World Triathlon Individual Olympic Qualification Ranking as of May 27, 2024.

That leaves Copeland in a position where he must secure a top-eight finish in Cagliari and rely on other outcomes to align in his favour, to secure a third male quota spot for Australia.

To view the 2024 Paris Olympic Games Nomination Criteria, click here.

WTCS Cagliari – Elite Men
Saturday, May 25 – 11:00 pm AEST

Luke Willian
Brandon Copeland
Callum McClusky

Full Start List


WTCS Cagliari – Elite Women
Saturday, May 25 – 6:45 pm AEST

Jaz Hedgeland
Charlotte McShane
Natalie Van Coevorden
Ellie Hoitink
Sophie Linn

Full Start List

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