Triathlon Australia has today named a six-strong Australian Junior team to contest this year’s ITU Beijing World Triathlon Championships in September.
The team of Scott Llewellyn (NSW), Jack Hickey (NSW), Tamsyn Moana-Veale (NSW), Natalie Van Coevorden (NSW), Ashlee Bailie (WA) and Matt Brown (QLD) follow a who’s who of Australian elite juniors who have represented Australia at the ITU World Championships since the first titles held in Florida in 1990.
There are four athletes from NSW, one who has re-located to the Gold Coast, a fifth who has re-located to the Wollongong-based NSWIS program and the sixth from Queensland.
Over the past 21 years the junior elite pathway has seen eight Olympians, Nicole Hackett (Sydney 2000), Craig Walton (Sydney 2000), Peter Robertson (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004), Courtney Atkinson (Beijing 2008), Brad Kahlefeldt (Beijing 2008), Emma Snowsill (Beijing, 2008), Maxine Seear (Athens, 2004) and Erin Densham (Beijing 2008) represent Australia at the Elite Junior World Championships.
World Olympic Distance (1997) and World Ironman champion (2007 and 2010) Chris McCormack also represented at the Junior World Championships in Manchester in 1993, finishing fourth.
Australia has an imposing history, producing eight junior world champions; Ben Bright and Clare Carney (Wellington, 1994), Chris Hill (Cancun, 1995), Joanne King (Cleveland, 1996), Nicole Hackett (Perth, 1997), Courtney Atkinson (Montreal, 1999), Felicity Abram (Queenstown, 2003) and Ashleigh Gentle (Budapest, 2010).
And there is no reason why athletes chosen on the 2011 Elite Junior Team for Beijing can’t add their names to the list.
National Talent and Development Manager for Triathlon Australia, Craig Redman said the team had enormous potential and all had great opportunities to take the next steps towards professional careers and the Olympic Games and future World Championships.
â€œAll of these guys by right of performance have earned their selection for the World Championships and we have told them they have now been selected in an exclusive club â€“ The Australian Elite Triathlon Team,â€ said Redman, who was also quick to point out they would face one of the greatest challenges of their careers.
â€œThe team is chockfull of talent and in the boys there were another four or five contenders who were very much in the mix.
â€œIt is exciting to firstly win selection on the Australian team for the World Championships and secondly to compete over the Olympic course, particularly for the girls, with Emma Snowsill and Emma Moffatt winning gold and bronze medals over this course in 2008.
â€œBut it will also present its challenges. It will be hot and hilly and they will all have to be prepared appropriately.
â€œWe will be sitting down with the athletes and their home coaches to plan their training schedules, some will take off to Europe to race and train while others will stay at home to mix their training with their studies.
â€œAll of them have made very good progression and improvement and these Championships will be an ideal stepping stone towards an elite career.
â€œTriathlon Australia’s Elite teams boast a proud and successful history at the ITU World Triathlon Championships and we are confident the 2011 Junior Team will continue that tradition along with our Under 23 and elite athletes as their international journey begins.â€
When Triathlon Australia officially notified the six athletes of their selection, Redman attached a full list of every junior athlete who has represented Australia at the 21 World Championships between Florida in 1991 and Budapest in 2010.
â€œIt is important for these guys to know who has gone before them and what kind of history Triathlon has in Australia and the calibre of athlete, Olympians and world champions who have gone before them,â€ said Redman.
The team certainly represents another major success story for the Jamie Turner coached NSWIS program out of Wollongong, with all three girls, Moana-Veale, Van Coevorden and Bailie training under his guidance.
Moana-Veale, 18, relocated from Bathurst to Wollongong to study and train under Turner as did Bailie, 19 from Bunbury in WA.
Turner has had past successes with last year’s Under 23s representative Charlotte McShane and also Aaron Royle, who finished second in this year’s Oceania Elite Championships in Wellington.
Turner also coached 2008 Olympian Erin Densham in her development years and before working for TA/NSWIS coached Barbara Riveros (CHI) to Beijing Olympics.
Here is a snapshot look at Australia’s six rising stars selected in the 2011 Australian Junior Triathlon Team for the ITU World Championships in Beijing, September 10 and 11.
Lives/trains: Newcastle, NSW
Coach: Peter Mauro
FAST FACT: Won the Australian Junior Championship in Geelong to earn automatic selection on the Australian team for this year’s World Championships and wrap up the 2XU Australian ITU Junior Triathlon Series.
Lives/trains: Brisbane, QLD
Coach: Steve Moss
FAST FACT: Won the 2011 Oceania Junior Championships in Wellington. Set up his victory in the first two kilometres of an impressive run leg to earn his automatic selection.
From: Gunnedah, NSW
Lives/trains: Gold Coast, QLD.
Coach: Chris Lang
FAST FACT: Has re-located from Gunnedah in the NSW north west to train and study on the Gold Coast and has dueled with Scott Llewellyn over an impressive summer of racing to earn his place on the team.
From: Bathurst, NSW
Lives/Trains: Wollongong, NSW
Coach: Jamie Turner
FAST FACT: New Zealander who relocated from Bathurst to Wollongong to study and training under Jamie Turner. Won the Australian Junior Championship in Geelong to set up her selection on the Australian team for Beijing.
NATALIE VANN COEVORDEN
Lives: Glen Alpine, NSW
Trains: Wollongong, NSW
Coach: Jamie Turner
FAST FACT: Finished second after posting the second-fastest run leg in the Oceania Championships in Wellington to be the first Australian home to confirm her selection on the Australian team.
From: Bunbury, WA
Trains/Lives: Wollongong, NSW
Coach: Jamie Turner
FAST FACT: Relocated from Bunbury, WA to Wollongong to study and train under Turner. Finished third in the ITU Oceania Junior Championships in Wellington and ahead of Moana-Veale.
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