The cream of Australia’s rising triathlon stars has been named to embark on a challenging overseas assignment when the annual Young Guns tour gets underway in Europe in July.
Ten athletes have been selected for the tour, which is part of the Australian Sports Commission’s National Talent ID and Development initiative.
Triathlon Australia’s National Talent and Development Manager Craig Redman said the team to contest the 2010 Under 23 World Championships in Budapest in September is expected to come from this exclusive group.
â€œWe have an exciting mix of talent in this year’s NTID Young Guns team with a number of newcomers, including Australian Junior and under 23 champion Holly Aitken and the ever-improving Keira Pride. The men’s squad is headed by Australian under 23 champion, Jamie Huggett, and under 23 Oceania Championship silver medallist Sam Betten.â€
The tour departs for the Australian Institute of Sport European Training Centre in Varese, Italy, on July 2, taking in several international and domestic events. Some athletes will then stay on for Triathlon Australia’s high performance camp, based in France over the European summer, providing an opportunity to race in the Dextro Energy Triathlon â€“ ITU World Championship Series.
â€œThe Young Guns will be exposed to high quality international racing at events such as the Holten (Netherlands) and Tiszaujvaros (Hungary) World Cup events and a number of domestic races in Italy and France,â€ Redman said. â€œMoreover, depending on race results, a number of the Young Gun athletes may also be in contention for starts in the ITU Dextro Energy World Championship series races in Hamburg, London or Kitzbuhel.â€
Redman said the Young Guns program provided a pathway for identified and developing triathletes and gained them access to international competition.
â€œThe Young Guns tour takes athletes to Europe where they are exposed to international long haul travel, foreign languages and diet, competition against some of the best under 23 and senior athletes in the world, and the challenge of living out of a suitcase,â€ he said. â€œThe opportunity shows them what it is like to be a high performance triathlete and, importantly, what it takes to be an elite triathlete.â€
Holly Aitken (Vic), Emma Jackson (Qld), Keira Pride (Qld)
Josh Amberger (Qld), Sam Appleton (NSW), Shane Barrie (NSW), Sam Betten (Qld), Drew Box (Qld), Josh McHugh (NSW), Jamie Huggett (Vic)
Steve Moss, Craig Redman