Melbourne’s Brendan Sexton remains hopeful his Olympic aspirations for London will come to fruition next weekend despite another disappointing performance at the ITU Triathlon World Series round in Madrid earlier today.
Sexton finished over four minutes behind the winner in 31st place after trailing the 67-strong field out of the swim towards the back of the pack.
He was never in the hunt in the final Olympic points race before the May 31 cut off but has always maintained his confidence he had â€œdone enoughâ€ to convince the selectors he is the real deal.
Sexton, the winner of the Oceania Championship in Devonport in February, went into Madrid determined to re-capture the same form that had everybody talking three months ago.
But once again his swim let him down and he knows it will be back to the drawing board if one of the best 10km runners in international triathlon is going to be competitive with the Brownlee boys when they dive into the London’s Serpentine Lake on August 7.
It was a day once again dominated by Great Britain’s Olympic medal hope Jonathan Brownlee â€“ the winner in San Diego two weeks ago and in Madrid 12 months ago.
The only thing that stands between him and Olympic gold is his world champion brother Alistair, who is yet to make an appearance in 2012 due to an Achilles injury but at the end of 2011 was the man to beat.
Sexton, the 26-year-old Maitland-born Victorian led home the emerging Australian contingent of four which saw NSW’s Aaron Royle finish 33rd, Queensland’s Australian Sprint Champion Drew Box 36th and NSW’s Ryan Bailie 38th.
Royle, another Newcastle bred triathlete now in Wollongong under Jamie Turner, was again well up in the swim, exiting the 2x750m laps in eighth place before working hard on the bike to put himself in the lead group.
He only has to continue his work on the run to be competitive over the next four years while Oceania Sprint distance winner Box worked his way through the field as did Bailie, in some encouraging signs.
The Triathlon Australia selectors will meet this Thursday, with the six-strong team to be ratified by the Triathlon Australia Board and nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) before being announced next Saturday.
With Brad Kahlefeldt already pre-Nominated to the AOC in November, Australia has two more places to fill and after Courtney Atkinson’s 13th in San Diego a fortnight ago, that should be good enough to earn him a place on his second Olympic team.
The only other major contender all season has been the wily veteran Chris McCormack who at 43, has been knocking on the selection door, but the â€œyouth factorâ€ could well be the sealer for Sexton.
|10||Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero||1:54:34||0:18:31||1:03:27||0:31:06|
|16||Gonzalo Raul Tellechea||1:55:11||0:19:28||1:02:32||0:31:51|
|26||Jose Miguel Perez||1:55:44||0:18:22||1:03:38||0:32:19|
|51||Felipe Van de Wyngard||1:59:15||0:18:55||1:03:27||0:35:24|
|53||Min Ho Heo||2:00:57||0:18:48||1:03:15||0:37:32|