Australia boasts some of the world’s best triathletes but there is a gaping hole in the nation’s trophy cabinet where a men’s Olympic medal could sit.
With the announcement of the men’s team for London 2012 today, Australia has that London podium in sight.
Beijing Olympians Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson will make their second Games appearance, joined by young-gun Brendan Sexton.
Kahlefeldt, who was identified for nomination in 2011 after a strong season that saw him win the Hamburg leg of the World Championship series and post a number of other top ten performances.
Despite his early nomination, the 32-year-old who is based on the Gold Coast has not had a dream start to 2012, with a bout of pneumonia striking him down in recent weeks.
â€œIt is a great feeling to be selected on my second Olympic Team for London,â€ Kahlefeldt said.
â€œAlthough it was hard to imagine I would be competing in London in a couple months time when I was lying in a hospital bed with pneumonia in San Diego for six days. That was a scare that’s for sure.â€
Kahlefeldt has made a steady and strong recovery and is back on track for his Olympic campaign.
â€œI think the worst of the pneumonia is now over and I am back here in Europe with my training group,â€ he said. â€œMy lung is improving each day and I am starting to feel stronger again. The Mallorca training camp went well. I was just happy to be back into some training.
â€œThings are returning to normal and I’m excited, relieved and ready to press on to London from here.â€
Kahlefeldt’s Beijing teammate Atkinson produced a confidence boosting performance when he finished a close up 13th in the recent ITU World Championship round in San Diego.
In Beijing, Atkinson was Australia’s highest finishing male with 11th and he will be looking to improve on that performance when the men take to the Hyde Park course on 7 August.
â€œTo be one of Australia’s triathlon representatives at the pinnacle of sport for a second time is very exciting,â€ Atkinson said
â€œThroughout the last two year process of selection I have found out so much about myself and my racing. What really makes me tick, what works for me but most of all what’s really important to me. You just can’t go and buy those experiences.â€