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460 Australian triathletes to race the ITU World Triathlon Championships in London

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A total of 460 of Australia’s fittest athletes will stampede through the streets of London this week when the 2012 Olympic city plays host to this year’s ITU World Triathlon Championships.

Just over 12 months after Erin Densham produced her awe-inspiring Olympic bronze medal in and around the royal triathlon course of Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park the famous pavements will again grace the world’s finest athletes.

It will be a week long celebration of Multi-Sport that will see world champions crowned in a myriad of age groups and events and for the Elites after a rigorous eight-stop ITU World Championship Series that began in Auckland in April.

It will culminate in the two Elite finals – the Women on Saturday and the Men’s race on Sunday and for the seven Australian Elites – three women Emma Moffatt, Emma Jackson and Ashleigh Gentle and four men – Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie, Cameron Good and Dan Wilson there is added incentive.

An automatic place on the 2014 Australian Commonwealth Games Team for Glasgow is the carrot dangled by the Triathlon Australia selectors for the first Australian in the Top Eight in the Men’s and Women’s Elite Races.

“They are up for it, that’s for sure, it is going to produce some great racing,” says Triathlon Australia’s Performance Director Bernard Savage.“From what I have seen of these guys in their training camps in Spain and in France and during the ITU World Series there is no reason why we can’t have one automatic qualifier in each race. “It is certainly going to add that little bit of extra spice for both races.”

The Australian Elite women’s team has lost Densham and ten-year team veteran Felicity Abram in the lead up to London but will still be well represented by “two Olympic Emmas” – Moffatt and Jackson who will carry the Emma tradition into these world championships.

Of the 24 ITU World Championships contested in the Elite women’s category – 13 have been won by Australians – and seven of those to three Emmas – Emma Carney in 1994 and 1997; Emma Snowsill in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and Emma Moffatt in 2009 and 2011.

And the most celebrated of all the Emmas – 2008 Olympic champion Snowsill, will again be centre stage when she comes into the Australian camp in Kensington tomorrow (Wednesday, London time) to present the race uniforms to the 2013 Australian team.

But the tradition of these world championships has probably been best summed up by the only non-Emma in the Australian Elite women’s team – Gold Coaster Ashleigh Gentle, who says it is a privilege to be selected to represent Australia at an Elite World Championships.

“It is something which I am very proud and honoured to do. We have a rich history and I want to be a part of the new generation to continue the legacy which has been set before us,” said Gentle.

The former ITU World Junior champion has emerged as an athlete most likely to challenge the Rankings leaders after a consistent season sees her in seventh place, just ahead of the in-form Moffatt with Jackson, after a slow start, hitting her straps to be sitting in 19th.

Competition gets under way tomorrow (Wednesday, London time) with the Aquathlon events from Elite to Age Groupers and Paratriathletes with competitors to cover a one kilometre swim and a five kilometre run in and around The Serpentine Lake.

Thursday will see the Under 23s and Juniors hit the beat with Queenslander Ryan Fisher determined to repeat the 2012 Under 23 World Championship victory of team mate and Elite team member for 2013, Aaron Royle.

“My expectation is pretty simple, I want to win,” said Fisher. “Last year I was close but so far at the same time.

“Finishing 5th (to Aaron) in the World Championships has given me the confidence and belief that with another year of preparation I could come back and win the race.

“Racing on the Olympic course will be a real privilege and I’m excited.”

Brisbane’s outstanding prospect, Sophie Malowiecki at 16 is the baby of the Australian team, receiving a last minute call up into the ITU Junior field giving Australia a team of four girls, while talented Tasmanian Jacob Birtwhistle will add another Australian tracksuit to his growing collection after representing Athletics Australia in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships earlier in the year in Poland.

Friday will see the 13-strong Australian Paratriathletes in action, with Australia’s three-time ITU World Champion Bill Chaffey on show as he chases world crown number four as well as the Age Group Sprint Triathlon events.

The Age Group Olympic Distance competitors will share the weekend with their Elite brothers and sisters.

And while in the Elite men all eyes will be on the likes of our highest ranked male Aaron Royle, as he lines up against hometown heroes – the brothers Brownlee – Olympic champion Alistair and defending ITU World Champion Jonathan – the closest you can get to triathlon royalty – spare a thought for Australia’s oldest Age group competitor.

It is 78-year-old Gold Coaster Jolyon Ward – who at last count will be racing in his 26th Olympic distance triathlon – let along all the other marathons and endurance events he has conquered.

When trying to contact “Jo” last week, the ex-Brit’s “secretary” said he would call back “when he gets home from work.”

Jo was on site in the family Signage business – working in between training sessions and visits to the phsyio to tend to his torn shoulder muscles.

But it won’t keep him out of his second World Championship – his first being 2009 on the Gold Coast.

“I just love challenges,” said Jo, who will be returning to “The Old Dart” after leaving his beloved Somerset to live down under…. “I guess I’m the oldest competitor at 78 am I?”

Jo you guessed right….and you can rest assured he won’t be taking a backwards step when he rubs shoulders with triathlon royalty.

It will be a week to remember for the 460 Australians who will proudly wear their green and gold Scody race suits in a stampede to remember.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

The Australian Elite team of 23 athletes in the Elite, Under 23s, juniors and Paratriathlon, will showcase these Championships alongside a brimming Age Group Team of 437.

The break down of numbers in the 2013 Australian Triathlon contingent to London is impressive:

  • 22 Elite, Under 23 and Juniors
  • 13 Paratriathletes
  • 22 athletes are competing in the Age Group Sprint and Age Group Olympic Distance

World Championships

  • 14 who will tackle Age Group Sprint, Olympic Distance and Aquathlon Events
  • 237 athletes competing in the Olympic Distance Age Group
  • 200 athletes competing in the Sprint Distance Age Group
  • 142 competing in Aquathlon Age events including one paratriathlete, for a;
  • Grand total number of 460 Elite and Age Group athletes

Australian Elite Triathlon Team 2013 ITU London World Triathlon Championships, London, September 11-15

Women:

Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)

Emma Moffatt (QLD)

Emma Jackson (QLD)

Men:

Aaron Royle (NSW)

Ryan Bailie (NSW)

Cameron Good (NSW)

Dan Wilson (QLD)

Australian Under 23 Triathlon Team – 2013 ITU London World Triathlon Championships

Under 23 Women:

Natalie van Coevorden (NSW)

Charlotte McShane (NSW)

Tamsyn Moana-Veale (NSW)

Grace Musgrove (National Talent Academy, NSW)

Under 23 Men:

Declan Wilson (National Talent Academy, ACT)

Ryan Fisher (QAS, QLD)

Matt Brown (QAS, QLD)

Australian Junior Triathlon Team – 2013 ITU London World Triathlon Championships

Junior Women:

Jodie Duff (National Talent Academy, QLD)

Holly Grice (QLD)

Jaz Hedgeland (National Talent Academy, WA)

Sophie Malowiecki (National Talent Academy QLD)

Junior Men:

Jacob Birtwhistle (National Talent Academy, TAS)

Joel Tobin-White (VIS, VIC)

Luke Willian (QAS, QLD)

Matt Baker (National Talent Academy, NSW)

Full team list

NAME EVENT STATE
Louisa Abram Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Justin Adams Olympic Distance NSW
Iain Addinell Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Gillian Akers Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Jeff Aldenhoven Sprint Distance NSW
Brian Alderman Olympic Distance NSW
Anne Alford Olympic Distance QLD
Tyler Allan Sprint Distance QLD
Ken Ardern Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Neil Armstrong Olympic Distance WA
Aaron Ashdown Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Bonnie Atherton Sprint Distance QLD
John Axsentieff Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Wayne Baatjes Sprint Distance QLD
Christel Baker Sprint Distance NSW
Ross Bambery Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Nathan Bankovic Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Stella Barber Sprint Distance VIC
Dani Barclay Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Jose Barea Olympic Distance NSW
Marina Bate Olympic Distance NSW
Daryl Bates Olympic Distance QLD
David Baussmann Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Barb Beard Sprint Distance NSW
Jeff Beavis Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Natasha Beavis Sprint Distance VIC
Penny Becker Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Robbie Begg Sprint Distance NSW
Peter Bennett Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
John Bennetts Sprint Distance VIC
David Bentley Olympic Distance + Aquathon
Angela Besnard Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Geoff Besnard Sprint Distance NSW
Charles Biddle Sprint Distance WA
Jack Bigmore Olympic Distance ACT
James Billing Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance QLD
Susan Bishop Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Julia Ann Blatchford Sprint Distance WA
Damon Boag Sprint Distance VIC
David Bojczenko Sprint Distance VIC
Stacey Bolton Sprint Distance QLD
Maureen Boswell Olympic Distance NSW
Kate Bramley Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Martin Brigden Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Carra Briggs Sprint Distance
James Brodie Olympic Distance WA
Liam Bromilow Sprint Distance QLD
Neil Brooks Sprint Distance WA
Emma Brown Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Lachlan Brown Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Laura Brown Olympic Distance NSW
Sheridan Brown Olympic Distance VIC
Noella Buchanan Olympic Distance + Aquathon TAS
Robert Buckley Sprint Distance + Aquathon SA
Ivan Burchett Olympic Distance NSW
Richard Burnell Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon WA
Hugh Burrill Olympic Distance VIC
Rohan Byles Olympic Distance NSW
Jason Carkazis Olympic Distance QLD
Jamie Cartwright Olympic Distance WA
Derrin Cason Sprint Distance QLD
Adam Chadburn Sprint Distance NSW
Luke Chalker Sprint Distance NSW
Ian Chandler Sprint Distance QLD
Matt Charlton Olympic Distance UK
Catherine Chatterton Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Michelle Chen Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Charlton Clark Sprint Distance TAS
Peter Clark Olympic Distance QLD
Nerida Clarke Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Peter Clarke Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Cynthia Cliff Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Jo Cochrane Olympic Distance QLD
Robin Collins Olympic Distance ACT
Andrew Colman Sprint Distance NSW
Emma Coman-Jeffries Olympic Distance QLD
Tyrone Compton Olympic Distance ACT
Naomi Cook Sprint Distance NSW
Kate Cora Sprint Distance NSW
Ric Coyle Olympic Distance TAS
Guy Creber Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Terry Crick Sprint Distance QLD
Rosanna Crisp Olympic Distance QLD
Phillip Crombie Olympic Distance TAS
Terry Crowe Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Neil Cullen Sprint Distance QLD
Ian Currie Sprint Distance + Aquathon SA
Therese Daamen Sprint Distance QLD
Pat Dall Olympic Distance QLD
Samuel Dally Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Angela Davie Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Nicki Davies Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Alan Davies Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Lynn Davies Sprint Distance QLD
Tegan Davies Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Jane Davis Sprint Distance WA
Craig Davis Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Andrew Davis Olympic Distance NSW
Trent Dawson Sprint Distance + Aquathon
Fiona Day Olympic Distance QLD
Robert Day Olympic Distance QLD
Anthony De Domenico Sprint Distance QLD
Krista Demiris Olympic Distance VIC
Philip Deverson Olympic Distance NSW
Noel Devine Olympic Distance QLD
James Dimsey Olympic Distance
Alex Diorietes Olympic Distance VIC
Lisa Dominguez Olympic Distance VIC
Darren Donaldson Olympic Distance QLD
Merredith Douglas Olympic Distance WA
Josephine Dow Sprint Distance + Aquathon TAS
Frazer Dowling Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Alan Draper Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Tony Duffy Olympic Distance QLD
Stuart Durham Olympic Distance WA
Martin Durkin Sprint Distance VIC
Samantha Dwyer Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Peter Dwyer Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Stephen Eastwood Sprint Distance + Aquathon TAS
Annette Eastwood Olympic Distance + Aquathon SA
Natalie Edwards Olympic Distance NSW
Reece Edwards Olympic Distance NSW
Mark (Emo) Emerton Sprint Distance NSW
Ken Enright Olympic Distance
Jocie Evison Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Anthony Faahan-Smith Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Ian Fabian Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance QLD
Carl Fannon Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Alise Farrelly (Selsmark) Olympic Distance + Aquathon WA
Phoebe Fear Olympic Distance NSW
Paul Felgate Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Kathleen Felgate Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
David Ferrier Olympic Distance VIC
Mark Fisher Sprint Distance NSW
Andrew Fisher Sprint Distance NSW
Patrick Fitzgerald Sprint Distance VIC
Stephen Flick Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Anthony Flick Olympic Distance + Aquathon UK
Glenys Foley Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
James Foote Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance QLD
Camilla Forss Sprint Distance VIC
Elyse Foster Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Rebecca Frankel Sprint Distance NSW
Kiah Frankel Sprint Distance NSW
Bill Frazer Sprint Distance
Kenneth George Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Angus Gibson Sprint Distance QLD
Jenny Gilbert Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Sally Gilbert Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Ian Gilmour Sprint Distance VIC
Nick Glozier Sprint Distance NSW
Alex Gohari Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Des Gooda Sprint Distance NSW
Cameron Goodison Olympic Distance VIC
Elizabeth Gosper Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Anthony Goss Olympic Distance VIC
Sue Gould Olympic Distance VIC
Tania Gover Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Marion Gowing Olympic Distance NSW
Ian Graham Olympic Distance QLD
Micheal Gray Olympic Distance VIC
Matthew Green Olympic Distance QLD
Jim Griggs Sprint Distance QLD
Anne Gripper Sprint Distance QLD
Jennifer Gunn Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Bill Gunn Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Alexander Ha Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Catharina Hamilton Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Curtis Hancock Olympic Distance NSW
Katherine Hancock Olympic Distance + Aquathon WA
Julian Hanson Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Matthew Hardy Sprint Distance ACT
Kristy Harnett Sprint Distance + Aquathon UK
Nicholas Harrington Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Stuart Harris Olympic Distance QLD
Stephanie Harrison Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Tristan Harrison Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Annabelle Hartigan Olympic Distance NSW
Felicity Hartnell Olympic Distance QLD
John Hawkins Olympic Distance WA
Claire Hawkins Sprint Distance WA
Peter Hedge Olympic Distance NSW
Leonie Hegyi Sprint Distance TAS
Lorna Hepburn Olympic Distance QLD
Phillip Hermitage Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Marion Hermitage Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Louise Heywood Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Carmel Hickey Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Donna Hickey Sprint Distance NSW
Barbara Hill Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Andrew Hill Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Joshua Hilliard Olympic Distance NSW
Carl Hoddy Sprint Distance + Aquathon TAS
Peter Holgate Olympic Distance QLD
William Hoogenboom Olympic Distance NSW
Michael Hooper Sprint Distance QLD
Nik Howe Sprint Distance
Zoe Hubball Olympic Distance + Aquathon SA
Ray Hunt Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Michelle Hynd Olympic Distance ACT
Kristyn Ibrihim Olympic Distance + Aquathon
Janice Iredale Sprint Distance NSW
Alexander Jackson Olympic Distance NSW
Emma Jeffcoat Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Philip Jefferies Olympic Distance QLD
Campbell Jefferys Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance GER
Haydn Jervis Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance QLD
Andrew Johns Olympic Distance + Aquathon
Matthew Johns Sprint Distance
Stephanie Johnston Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Matt Johnstone Sprint Distance QLD
Steven Johnstone Sprint Distance NSW
Brad Jones Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance VIC
Harry Jones Olympic Distance ACT
Oliver Jones Olympic Distance VIC
Braedon Jones Sprint Distance NSW
Lachlan Joyce Olympic Distance
Trevor Kemper Sprint Distance NSW
Roy Kisbee Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Bethan Knapp Olympic Distance VIC
Sarah Koen Declining position in team NSW
Thomas Kotzur Sprint Distance NSW
Amanda Kyneur Olympic Distance QLD
Christina Ladyman Sprint Distance WA
Suzzanne Laidlaw Olympic Distance WA
Trent Larcombe Olympic Distance NSW
Matthew Larkin Olympic Distance VIC
Nicola Leavold Sprint Distance SA
Gregory Lebeter Sprint Distance QLD
Rebecca Lewis Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance WA
Karen Lewis Sprint Distance NT
LACHLAN LEWIS Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Yaeli Liebowitz Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Joanna Lilley Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Stephen Lindores Olympic Distance QLD
Janette Lindores Olympic Distance QLD
Tracey Linguey Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Fiona Longden Olympic Distance WA
Rosemary Longstaff Olympic Distance QLD
David Lovell Olympic Distance NSW
Robyn Low-Hart Sprint Distance NSW
Carl Luitingh Sprint Distance UAE
Jason Luke Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Donna MacCalum Olympic Distance VIC
Lisa MacFarlane Sprint Distance VIC
James Mackay Olympic Distance NSW
Dave MacKay Sprint Distance + Aquathon
Steve Mackintosh Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Glen Mahoney Olympic Distance QLD
Francis Mahony Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Paul Marchant Sprint Distance VIC
Emma Mares Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
David Martin Olympic Distance NSW
Jae Martin Olympic Distance QLD
Brad Mathers Olympic Distance QLD
Shelley Maxwell-SMith Olympic Distance NSW
Clare McCann Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Pauline McCann Sprint Distance NSW
Robyn McClelland Olympic Distance ACT
Michael McCormick Olympic Distance + Aquathon WA
Matt McCosker Sprint Distance QLD
Matt McCrohon Olympic Distance NSW
Gavin Mcculloch Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Jorge Mcculloch Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Scott McDonald Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Rosie McGeoch Olympic Distance QLD
Connor McKay Sprint Distance QLD
Rob McNamara Sprint Distance VIC
Elaine McNamara Sprint Distance VIC
Kyle Mellon Sprint Distance QLD
Christopher Mennie Olympic Distance VIC
Vivian Mepstead Sprint Distance NSW
Ron Meteyard Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Steve Moore Olympic Distance QLD
Rebecca Moroney Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Jodie Morris Olympic Distance VIC
Rod Morrison Olympic Distance QLD
Cameron Morrissey Sprint Distance NSW
Mike Mortlock Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Maddie Morton Sprint Distance QLD
Johan Moylan Olympic Distance VIC
Jayne Moyle Olympic Distance QLD
Robbie Mullins Olympic Distance QLD
Ken Murley Sprint Distance VIC
Daniel Murphy Sprint Distance QLD
Stephen Murphy Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Philip Murrell Olympic Distance + Aquathon TAS
Peter Muscat Sprint Distance NSW
John Nelson Olympic Distance NSW
Anthony Nicolaci Olympic Distance VIC
Gregory Nolan Sprint Distance NSW
Mark Norman Olympic Distance
Tom Norris Olympic Distance NSW
Edward Northam Olympic Distance UK
Rebecca Nunn Olympic Distance QLD
Andrew O’Brien Olympic Distance NSW
Tim Oconnell Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Craig O’Connell Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
David O’Connor Olympic Distance WA
Holly Orchard Sprint Distance NSW
Lachlan O’Reilly Sprint Distance NSW
Tim O’Shea Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Meegan Osti Olympic Distance SA
Peter O’Sullivan Sprint Distance NSW
John Other-Gee Olympic Distance QLD
Jarrod Page Olympic Distance VIC
Chris Papadakis Olympic Distance VIC
Gabriel Parker Olympic Distance + Aquathon SA
Neil Parsons-Young Olympic Distance QLD
Stephen Pauley Sprint Distance NSW
Amy Penberthy Olympic Distance + Aquathon
Sarah Perkins Sprint Distance SA
Michelle Perry Sprint Distance QLD
David Picot Sprint Distance NSW
Nick Potter Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Steven Powell Olympic Distance NSW
Robyn Power Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon WA
Greg Pride Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Frances Quane Sprint Distance QLD
Shannon Quartly Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Nick Quinn Olympic Distance QLD
Brooke radford Sprint Distance VIC
Karen Reimann Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Gerald Renton Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Jason Rhine Olympic Distance WA
Kane Richards Sprint Distance QLD
Tamara Richardson Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Jeffrey Robbins Sprint Distance QLD
Leanda Robbins Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Cameron Roberts Sprint Distance NSW
Kyle Robson Sprint Distance VIC
Michele Roche Sprint Distance NSW
John ROGERS Sprint Distance ACT
Elizabeth Rogers Olympic Distance UK
Kate Rowe Olympic Distance NSW
Michael Ryan Sprint Distance QLD
Hannah Ryan Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Katherine Ryan Olympic Distance + Aquathon WA
Greg Salter Olympic Distance + Aquathon WA
Annette Sampson Olympic Distance NSW
Ben Schwarz Sprint Distance SA
Susan Scott Olympic Distance WA
Louise Shaw Olympic Distance NSW
Hayley Shaw-McGuinness Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Mary Sietsma Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Annie Simmons Sprint Distance NSW
Jack Simpson Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Elizabeth Sinclair Sprint Distance WA
Robert Skillman Olympic Distance NSW
Wayne Skillman Sprint Distance NSW
Brendan Smith Olympic Distance NSW
Barry Smith Sprint Distance NSW
Peter Smith Sprint Distance SA
Chris Smith Olympic Distance NSW
Natalea Smith Sprint Distance + Aquathon TAS
Dean Spinks Olympic Distance WA
Jodie Spottiswood Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Anthea Stacey Olympic Distance WA
Paul Stanwix Olympic Distance + Aquathon NSW
Kate Staples Sprint Distance NSW
John Stekelenburg Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Joseph Stephens Sprint Distance QLD
Chris Stevens Sprint Distance NSW
Monica Stewart Sprint Distance + Aquathon NT
Stephanie Stokes Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Georgia Stott Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Mary Street Sprint Distance NSW
Jill Sultan Olympic Distance VIC
Emily Swales Olympic Distance NSW
Archer Talbot Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Rodney Tanner Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Carrie Tansey Sprint Distance WA
Kevin Taylor Sprint Distance NSW
Conor Te Kloot Sprint Distance NT
Polly Templeton Olympic Distance + Aquathon ACT
Libby Thomas Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Morgan Thomas Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Melanie Thomas Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon NT
Rhys Thomas Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Chris Thompson Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Christina Thorne Sprint Distance ACT
Matthew Tracey Sprint Distance NSW
M Jac Tremayne Olympic Distance VIC
Adam Trottman Sprint Distance SA
Doris Trueman Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance TAS
Luke Tuddenham Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Daniel Turner Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Ruth Tutton Sprint Distance NSW
Mike Tyler Olympic and Sprint Distance + Aquathon VIC
Andrew Vincent Sprint Distance + Aquathon NSW
Marcus Vowels Sprint Distance NSW
Bryan Wakefield Olympic Distance + Aquathon VIC
Mitchell Wales Olympic Distance NSW
Robyn Walker Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Raleigh Wallace Olympic Distance QLD
Cheryl Wallace Olympic Distance NSW
Jolyon Ward Olympic Distance QLD
Kathrin Wardlaw Olympic Distance VIC
Thomas Warren Sprint Distance + Aquathon SA
Mark Watson Sprint Distance SA
Justin Webb Sprint Distance QLD
Susanna Webber Olympic Distance WA
Tracy Webber Olympic Distance NSW
Daniel Weeks Olympic Distance VIC
Chris Weier Sprint Distance + Aquathon
Rae Wells Sprint Distance + Aquathon ACT
Catherine West Olympic Distance + Sprint Distance NSW
Drew Westbrook Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Tammy White Sprint Distance NSW
Clare White Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Kylie Wildman Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Zoe Wiliams Olympic Distance NSW
Daniel Williams Sprint Distance QLD
Daniel Willis Sprint Distance VIC
Zoe Wilson Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Scott Wilson Olympic Distance QLD
Robyn Winn Sprint Distance NSW
William Winter Olympic Distance + Aquathon QLD
Scott Winter Sprint Distance + Aquathon QLD
Jillian Wisbey Olympic Distance + Aquathon ACT
David Witham Olympic Distance QLD
Natalie Wong Olympic Distance UK
Louise Wotton Olympic Distance VIC
Jackie Yow Sprint Distance ACT

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Interview

Matt Dixon – The Purple Patch Story

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Coaching at the track at the Purple Patch annual winter Hawaii Training Camp

Matt Dixon is one of the world’s best triathlon coaches, and his squad is only growing. Despite a unique approach, Dixon’s philosophy behind his squad Purple Patch is working. Trizone caught up with Dixon to uncover this sport-changing philosophy.

Matt Dixon didn’t follow his philosophy in his own journey as an athlete, which in itself provided plenty of lessons to him as a coach. “I grew up on the East side of London, in Essex,” Matt told Trizone. “It comes with its reputation, similar to New Jersey’s Jersey Shore,” laughed Dixon.

Learning to swim early starts career

The youngest of three brothers, Dixon grew up being competitive with his siblings who were also athletes. “You get lessons thrown at you without realising,” said Dixon. Matt’s Mum was a ‘learn to swim’ coach who taught Dixon to learn to swim very early in life. “I grew up in the water,” said Matt, “by the time I was twelve, I was going to the national championships for swimming.”

Like so many other young athletes though, when Matt Dixon was a young teenager, he lost interest in elite sport and became more interested in going out with friends. “I didn’t really do anything much, I just played a bit of soccer,” said Matt.

By sixteen though, Matt decided he wasn’t quite finished with swimming. “I got back to swimming but was on a skeleton program relative to my future collegiate program. But I ended up qualifying for the Olympic trials, and getting to the finals at the trials in 1992,” said Matt. Without realising it, Dixon had just experienced the essential elements of the Purple Patch philosophy that he’d come to develop.

Dixon was offered a swimming scholarship in the United States, and since then he’s never looked back. “The opportunity was amazing,” said Matt, “to go to America and have four years of University paid for and to be in in a team environment was amazing. I’d never been to the US before, and I ended up at the University of Cincinnati to study exercise physiology,” said Dixon.

University swim training sparks race career

“At University, I set the goal of going to the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996,” said Dixon. Here the famous coached paused, almost as though the story he was about to tell was life-changing, which it turned out to be. “Our swimming training was huge volumes, around 24-26 hours of swimming each week. That’s about 80-100 thousand yards a week, all to get ready for an event that was four minutes in duration,” said Dixon.

While Matt Dixon was working insanely hard to qualify for the Olympics, the huge mileage was working against him. “I brought a world-class attitude to training,” said Matt, “but the outcome wasn’t world class. I didn’t make the Olympic team in 1996, but I did get a university education with no debt,” smiled Dixon.

After swimming throughout his undergraduate degree, Dixon turned to coaching. “I had a few years coaching swimming then went back to get my Masters in Exercise Physiology,” said Matt. “I got to coach on a great age-group swimming program, then a division one University swimming program.”

Dixon discovers triathlon

During his Masters degree, Dixon discovered triathlon. “I thought I’d give it a go and I did well,” said Dixon, “People said ‘go and give it a crack as a pro,’ and I did, although, in reflection, I am a great example of how to set up a professional career poorly” added Dixon.

After his experience of training for the Olympics, Dixon decided to succeed in Ironman he’d need to increase his mileage even more.

“I thought, if I was training for 26 hours for a four minute event, then I’d need huge volumes to train for a long event like triathlon.”

Without a running background, Matt decided he’d need to run really really long distances to get into shape. “I’m lucky to be pretty injury resistant, but it was almost a curse because I never got injured, I just destroyed my system,” said Dixon. “Despite my education in physiology, I replicated my mistakes and trained myself into the ground.”

Extreme burnout threatens Dixon’s athletic abilities

Three years into his pro triathlon career, Dixon started coaching other triathletes. “I realised ‘what I’m doing is stupid,’ and I ended up with some form of chronic fatigue,” remembered Dixon.

“It was physical, emotional and mental burn out. Just complete burn out.”

“I couldn’t exercise for around 18 months, it was very serious burnout,” said Matt. “Systematically I was not functioning well. It was the best thing that could have happened to me in hindsight. I was coaching then, but it forced me to take a step back,” said Matt. “It ended my triathlon career and I was at a crossroad.”

The time off helped Matt look at triathlon objectively, from afar.

“I looked at age groupers and pros, and realised the validation of success was based almost solely on accumulation of training hours.”

Dixon looked back at his own triathlon career and saw his own faults were important aspects of the sport. “I saw almost everyone was doing a lot of things poorly. Anything related to recovery, nutrition or strength and conditioning wasn’t done well,” said Dixon.

“Pros and age groupers were showing up to races fit and fatigued. I always wanted to have athletes be fit and fresh instead.”

It’s this observation that cemented the philosophy of Matt Dixon’s now world-famous Purple Patch triathlon squad. “It was such a dogmatic approach,” said Dixon. “People were taking the approach of pros and watering it down and applying it to amateurs, but ignoring all the other factors in life,” said Dixon.

Participants at Purple Patch Fitness Women Triathlon Training Camp in Marin County, CA. © Vance Jacobs

“Coaches and trainers encouraged poor habits and lacked understanding around fuelling and nutrition. They talked about recovery that never really happened,” said Matt.

Dixon’s philosophy sparks controversy as ‘an easy way out’

“A lot of people really bought into what I was trying to put across, where some others were really put off,” said Dixon.

“Some people thought I was trying to say there was a shortcut to success and that the best path is to always do less, but that’s not it at all.”

Dixon was under fire, but he stuck to the new-found philosophy he’d founded after his own journey in the sport. “I was coaching pros and age groupers and having really good results,” said Dixon.

Pros discover Purple Patch

“I started Purple Patch with some well-known athletes and some not,” said Dixon. “In the early days, one of my amateurs won her age group in Hawaii; she became my first professional Tyler Stewart,” said Matt Dixon. “She went on to become a very successful pro, winning Ironman races while maintaining a day job in San Francisco. That was more than ten years ago,” Dixon told Trizone.

In 2008, Chris Lieto approached Dixon to become a Purple Patch athlete, as his brother Matt was already coached by Purple Patch. “He was already a world-class athlete,” said Dixon, “He asked me ‘why the hell should I be coached by you? I used to beat you every time we raced?’” laughed Matt. With his new-found perspective though, Dixon had the perfect answer.

“That’s exactly why you should be coached by me. I’ve learned from all the mistakes.”

Working with Chris Lieto helped cement Matt Dixon’s new philosophy. “I saw he had the benefits of years of training, but the supportive components of nutrition, fuelling, strength and conditioning and recovery weren’t there,” Dixon told Trizone. “I felt like he was doing way too much for the end of his career.” Dixon’s respect for Lieto is still very apparent even now. “I told him we should be doing things differently and he was amazing. He just jumped in and said ‘yes, let’s do it.’”

Dixon took Lieto’s commitment and made some huge changes. “We radically increased his caloric intake, reduced how often he went hard and reduced his total training hours,” said Dixon. “He ended up really improving as an athlete. He started to be truly able to run off the bike, running a 1:13 off the bike not 1:17,” said Dixon.

In 2009, Lieto finished second at Kona, beaten by well-known Aussie athlete Crowie. “That was a huge moment for me as a coach,” said Dixon, “now ten years later I’m just learning more and more and still trying to work it all out. That was really the start of our now long-standing professional squad,” said Dixon.

Purple Patch isn’t right for everyone

Despite Dixon’s rich history of athlete development, such as Jesse Thomas, Meredith Kessler, Sarah Piampiano, Tim Reed and Sam Appleton, Dixon believes his philosophy isn’t right for every professional athlete. “One of the first things I do when a pro reaches out to me is I make them go and talk to other coaches,” said Dixon. “It’s important the athlete find the right coach for their journey. Too many coaches simply aim to add numbers, but we don’t own the athlete. I want to ensure I am the right coach for each athlete.”

Some of these athletes do choose other coaches, which is what Dixon wants them to do. “Some of them do really well, and that’s great!” said Dixon, “I just want what’s right for them if they weren’t right for Purple Patch.”

“I’m really deliberate about whether I’m going to take on an athlete and help them.”

Dixon likes to assist the journey of a pro

Even though some of his amateur athletes have earned their pro cards, Dixon won’t let them compete in the pros just yet. “Sarah Piampiano had great aspirations,” said Matt, “she was an age grouper and she wanted to be a pro. All the other coaches she interviewed for coaching told her ‘go pro and learn the ropes,’ but I was quite the opposite. I told her if she went pro I wouldn’t coach her, as I didn’t feel she was ready physically or mentally. You can only transition into the pro ranks once, and the timing is really important for long-term development”

Piampiano listened to Dixon, and decided to adopt his long-term approach despite being frustrated with the decision. “She understands the long term, she’s the ultimate ‘Purple Patch’ athlete in a fit way,” said Dixon. “She did two years as an amateur before she went pro but when she did, she was ready to compete and able to grow from within the ranks. This creates the path toward World-Class. Her situation was magnified as it was her swim that was her weakness.”

“I told her it doesn’t matter how good your running is, it can be career-ending and very deflating if there’s tumble weed going across the race course when you get out of the water.”

A windy and cold day of intervals in the Headlands National Park, San Francisco. Laughing was keeping us all warm.

Another impressive athlete, Meredith Kessler, went through a similar journey with Matt Dixon. “For one and a half years, she raced as an amateur even though she was qualified as a pro,” said Dixon, “when she went pro she could swim, ride and run,” said Dixon.

The admiration Dixon has for his athletes who stick to the Purple Patch plan and work hard through their journey as an amateur is palpable. “Laura Siddall won Ironman Australia this year. She’s had one of the most impressive 2017 of any athlete,” said Dixon. “So many people in her situation would have quit after the mental and physical challenges of her first professional year in the sport. We were trying to get the recipe right,” said Matt.

“She never wondered if she was in the right program. She was confident we’d get the right answer.”

Purple Patch is for everyone

“We’re based in San Francisco, and we offer real squad coaching with cycling, running, swimming and strength on a daily and weekly basis,” said Dixon proudly, “we have a wonderful community here.”

While many of Dixon’s athletes are highly committed professional and amateur triathletes, some of Dixon’s athletes are simply busy working people looking for fitness, while others are trying to get back to activity following suffering chronic fatigue.

“It’s a melting pot of high performance, business and sport,”said Dixon of San Francisco. “That makes for an ego-free environment; everyone is diluted in some way. It’s a really nice culture.”

While Dixon’s Purple Patch coaches people all over the world, Dixon’s approach is far from generic. “When we delivery anything, we never deliver a stock-standard plan,” said Matt, “In support of that, my biggest passion is education and each athlete is different,” said Matt Dixon.

Purple Patch’s Sweet Spot

Dixon is proud to offer a training solution for the very busy athlete; busy people who are trying to integrate triathlon into a really busy life. “It’s for people who want a positive effect on their health, energy at work, and want to bring a better self to their social life and family and friends,” said Matt Dixon.

Rather than asking athletes to work with a pre-designed program and jam it into their already busy lives, Dixon offers a fresh approach. “We offer a distinct philosophical difference.”

Purple Patch has amateur athletes who train as much as they can, which isn’t nearly as much as some, yet they have impressive results. “We have an athlete who became Hawaii World Champion in his age group who never trained more than twelve hours a week,” said Dixon. “He is genetically gifted and has the lungs of an elephant,” laughed Matt, “however, the key takeaway is that if I would have prescribed 16 hours a week, he almost definitely would have failed. He simply had too many other life commitments with his family and being founder and COO of a major tech company. We were optimising the very strict time limits he had available.”

Training CEOs for peak performance

Matt Dixon’s infamous coaching style is beloved by CEOs thanks to his approach. “CEOs are some of the busiest people in the world,” said Dixon.

“The barometer of success for those guys is if they become more successful leaders and if they have more time and energy to bring and enhance critical thinking.”

CEOs want an overall improvement in health, fitness, and performance in all aspects. “The value comes in them becoming a better elite performer in the business world. That’s what they like,” said Dixon.

Purple Patch approaches CEO’s travel the same as pro travel, which helps enhance their performance in the boardroom. “We use the same fuelling habits to make sure their energy levels stay consistent, and that’s just one part of it.”

Why everyday people choose Purple Patch

Plenty of amateurs who train with Dixon are everyday people looking for a competitive path towards wellness. “Sleep and exercise are always the first casualties,” said Dixon. “Then they get over-stressed because they’re not managing all their commitments. Critical thinking is reduced and energy reduces,” said Dixon. “That’s not just me saying that it’s all evidence-based.”

With an iron-clad philosophy, it’s no surprise Matt Dixon has trained some of the world’s most successful triathletes. Check back into Trizone soon to see how you can get your hands on Matt Dixon’s world-class training approach.

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Ashleigh Gentle Earns Silver After Coach Jamie Turner’s Words of Wisdom

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With the words of her coach ringing in her ears triathlete Ashleigh Gentle reached deep down in Rotterdam today to reap the rewards of a move she knew she had to make after last year’s Rio Olympics.

Her move to coach Jamie Turner changed her pathway in the sport she loves and with immediate impact – after she wrapped up her second place finish in the prestigious 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series.

Gentle’s sixth place finish saw her become only the second Australian woman since the WTS replaced the one-off World Championship in 2009 to make it onto the podium – finishing second overall to today’s race winner Flora Duffy from Bermuda.

(The only other Australian with a podium was triple Olympian Emma Moffatt who won the inaugural title in 2009 in Hungary).

Somewhat disillusioned after a disappointing Olympic debut, the 26-year-old from the Gold Coast knew she had to make changes.

And the move to join Turner, the man who guided the USA’s Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen to her greatest triumph in the shadows of Christ The Redeemer on Copacabana Beach last year, has reaped immediate dividends.

After a break out year, which included her first ever WTS victory and a World Teams Relay gold medal, Gentle came into this week’s ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in second place on the WTS rankings behind the unstoppable Bermudan.

Rotterdam was wet, windy, slippery and tricky and it would test and determine this year’s world champions and placegetters.

Gentle went into the final race of the Series with a philosophical attitude that in triathlon, “anything is possible.”

But she probably didn’t think she would be three minutes down with 12 athletes ahead of her after the 1.5km swim and 40km on the bike.

She was outside the top 10 and although she didn’t know it at the time she actually had to run herself into sixth place to ensure she had second place securely tucked away.

“When I ran past Jamie (Turner) he told me “you are doing really well…happy hunting…there’s rewards up the road,” said Gentle.

It signaled to Gentle to get a move on.

“I knew I had to dig deep and I thought this is it…it’s the last race of the year and I just went as hard as I could,” she said.

“I was just happy I was able to achieve that and get that sixth place even though I didn’t know in my mind exactly what I had to do.

“I knew I had to dig a little bit deeper and then also know I could actually do it.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time training with Jamie; it would not have been possible without him; I have to be grateful for the investment he’s put into me and today Jamie didn’t talk numbers or seconds…. he just gave me that extra little incentive to get the job done.”

Gentle even surprised herself saying: “If you asked me at the start of the year that I would finish second in the world at the end I certainly wouldn’t have thought it was possible.

“I’m really happy with the end result. Every race has been different but they’ve been challenging.

“Obviously Montreal (where I won) was the stand out and it was also the one that I didn’t think was going to be the best (because I felt so sick).

“In all the races, I’ve just tried to fight to the end to get the best result possible.

“I guess upon reflection I can be proud to say that every race I went to I gave it my best. I guess it was such a nice reward o stand on that podium in second. It was a surreal feeling.

“I have been watching the World Series for a long time now and even the World Cups and I’ve been on a lot of World Championship teams.

“I’ve seen some amazing athletes before me get on that podium or be world champions; I don’t think it will sink in for a while but it will be a memory I will treasure forever.”

It was the icing on the cake for a highly successful campaign for the Australian Triathlon team that finished with three gold, two silvers, one bronze and the WTS silver to Gentle.

The first four medals went to Australia’s paratriathletes – with Katie Kelly (and guide Michellie Jones) and Commonwealth Games nominee Emily Tapp claiming gold and Sally Pilbeam and Justin Godfrey silvers.

Earlier in the day the now Gold Coast-based boy from Harvey Bay Matt Hauser became the fourth Australian to win the World Junior title joining Ben Bright, Chris Hill and Courtney Atkinson and taking the team’s third gold.

It also capped an outstanding year for the 19-year-old who in July combined with Gentle, Jake Birtwhistle and Charlotte McShane to win Australia’s first ever Elite World Teams Relay title – a new event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hauser’s eye-catching performance and fellow Queenslander Luke Willian’s bronze yesterday in the Under 23 World Championship were sure to have impressed the National Selectors who still have to add two final discretionary nominations for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Birtwhistle is the only male who has achieved an automatic nomination and he was forced out of today’s race after falling ill upon arrival into Rotterdam earlier in the week.

Rio Olympian Aaron Royle, who also fell ill 48 hours before the race with gastro, raced today, hanging on to produce a gutsy 14th place finish with his Rio team mate Ryan Bailie also returning to racing from an injury plagued season to finish in a creditable 18th place.

Birtwhistle was the highest ranked Australian male for the 2017 WTS in 12th, followed by Royle, 16th and Willian 22nd with Spain’s Mario Mola defending hos crown in a race won by Frenchman Vincent Luis.

In the women’s race Gillian Backhouse certainly didn’t do her Commonwealth Games chances any harm finishing in 14th, one place ahead of second automatic nomination in Charlotte McShane.

Also inside the top 20 was the consistent Natalie Van Coevorden in 19th with London Olympian Emma Jackson 30th.

In the overall WTS Rankings it was McShane who finished next behind Gentle in 11th, followed by Backhouse in 13th and Van Coevorden 21st.

In the Under 23 women’s race Emma Jeffcoat was the best of the Australians in 18th followed by Jaz Hedgeland in 22nd.

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Flora Duffy Wins in Rotterdam to Become Two-Time World Champion

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In what looked like a near perfect race outcome that suited her strengths, Flora Duffy (BER) had a dominating performance at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Rotterdam to claim victory and reclaim her ITU World Championship title for the second year in a row.

Making a name for herself as one of the most consistent swim, bike and run athletes, Duffy’s Grand Final gold ended a season that saw her claim six WTS races in the year, that all aided in her repeat world honour.

Duffy said of her win: “I am pretty reluctant to ever say you can have a perfect race, but I would say today went just how I wanted it to. I had a great swim and set myself up perfectly for the bike. I tried to play it safe on the bike because there is so much on the line and then on the run I felt pretty strong, so I wanted to go for it. Yeah, it was a great day. I just try to make it a swim, bike and run. Not a swim, get through the bike and then onto the run. So maybe it is forcing everyone to be really good at all three, but that is how I want to race a triathlon, I just love to race.”

Coming in second place in the race was USA’s Katie Zaferes, who also had a strong overall performance from start to finish. With the result, she pushed her way into the third overall spot in the rankings to take the final place on the world championship podium; a career first for Zaferes.

“I am so excited. I told Flora (Duffy) when I finished that ‘you might have won, but I feel like I did.’ I am one more up from last year, so I just keep making my way,” she said of getting third in the overall season.
The bronze medal then went to Jessica Learmonth (GBR), who earned in Rotterdam her second WTS medal of her career.

Learmonth said, “It was hard from start to finish to be honest. I didn’t feel very comfortable throughout, I know I led out of the swim and stuff, but on the bike Flora (Duffy) and Katie (Zaferes) were so strong I was really struggling. I didn’t know how the run was going to go, I felt alright but my back was really stiff and the back of my calf hurt towards the end, but it was just a battle to hold on.”

One of strongest performances of the day came from Aussie Ashleigh Gentle, who despite being down by over three minutes on the bike, had the run of her life to finish sixth, which was the exact position needed in order for her to maintain her second-place spot on the world championship podium. The silver overall Series trophy was a career first and best for Gentle.

“I am very pleased. I didn’t really know what this year would bring. I had a lot of changes, I relocated to Wollongong to work with Jamie Turner, I had my longest stint in Europe this year doing more WTS races than I have ever done before so I am just absolutely thrilled with getting second,” Gentle said.

Despite the rain that occurred for the majority of the day, as the women lined up to start the sky began to clear and they were met with clear weather conditions.

Learmonth led out of the water after the first lap and despite the additional 750-metres, there was no change in the
water after the second lap as well. Learmonth was the swim leader on the day, making it her fourth time this year and eighth of her career that she has led out of the water in a WTS race. Duffy and Zaferes were not far behind.
Duffy, Learmonth and Zaferes utilized time from a swift transition to get out ahead. Mimicking the situation that happened in WTS Stockholm just weeks earlier, the three rode as a leading trio and worked on gaining as much ground on the bike as they could.

By the time the bike reached the lap section of the course, the trio had a lead of 30 seconds over a chase group of seven women that had formed. These seven, included Joanna Brown (CAN), Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Kirsten Kasper (USA), Taylor Spivey (USA), Summer Cook (USA), Alice Betto (ITA) and Rachel Klamer (NED).

While the seven tried hard to close the gap, the strength and speed from the leaders was too much and the margin only increased. Heading into T2 that gap was close to two minutes.

A second larger chase group also saw big names in the bunch, such as Gentle and Nicola Spirig (SUI), who was racing in her first WTS race since having a baby only months ago. This group however had an over three-minute deficit going into T2.

The three-woman breakaway was the perfect set-up for Flora to then hammer away on the run. She took off once on her feet and then it was over from there.

She took the opportunity to gain the ground she needed to bring it home and get the finish tape and the world crown.
From there the only deciding factor who would finish out the podium. Zaferes finished around 40 seconds after Duffy, which bumped her ahead of Andrea Hewitt (NZL) in the rankings.
Learmonth finished third for the race and then Gentle had one of the fastest runs of the day to get her into sixth place and keep the second-place spot in the rankings.

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Mario Mola Repeats World Championship Title in Rotterdam

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Keeping the world title for the nation of Spain for the fifth year in a row, a third-place finish at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam was enough to grant Mario Mola a back-to-back ITU World Triathlon Championship crown in a season-best performance. With the repeat title, Mola became only the second man in ITU history since the inception of the WTS to ever win two-straight world titles.

Winning the Grand Final race gold was France’s Vincent Luis, who claimed his first WTS victory of the season. Luis’s win came from a dominating and dramatic run effort, after breaking away from a powerful lead pack in the final metres to seize the event gold.

The silver medal went to Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), who once again, had one of the best run performances in the race to fly past the competition that he ran with stride for stride for the whole ten-kilometre course. With his second-place finish, he advanced 271 points over South Africa’s Richard Murray to take the third spot on the overall World Championship podium.

Crossing the line in fourth, Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) secured enough points to guarantee his place in the rankings to be named second overall in the season and the runner-up world champion.

Mola said of how it sounds to be a two-time World Champion: “It sounds great. I can’t describe it with words. You are always nervous before a race, no matter what the situation or where you are, I am sure you are going to have those nerves in order to perform well. I knew I was in a good situation, I wish I could race every year with these kinds of points going into the Grand Final and this type of situation, but I knew I had to race very well or else it was not going to be easy. But it was the title, so that is what I tried to do.”

Luis commented on his season best race victory: “I didn’t expect that. It was a tough year, there was a lot of tough up and downs, a lot of downs. I couldn’t imagine having a win at the Grand Final. I spent like two or three months of this year injured so I could not work, I just can’t believe it. I just worked so hard that it feels amazing.”

After crossing off the junior men and U23 women races earlier in the day, the elite men prepared to battle it out on the course for the first set of elite grand final honours. Rain and cold weather was touch and go throughout the morning, so by the time of the elite men’s start the conditions caused a wet course. However, the rain did let up in time for the starting drum.

Early strategy saw that all of the Spaniards position themselves on one side of the pontoon, with Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) choosing to dive in on the opposite side.
Richard Varga (SVK) led out of the swim in the first lap, but the first 750 metres didn’t do much to space out the field. Brownlee and Gomez remained among the top of the field in the waters, trying like ever to remain out in front.

Varga continued his lead after lap two as well and collected his 33rd time in his career that he exited the waters as the swim leader.

The rest of the field followed not far behind, including Brownlee who finished only eight seconds back, despite losing his swim goggles on the second lap. Mola found himself 26 seconds back, which was the best swim of the season for the Spaniard.

Heading out onto the bike, a group of 15 men including Brownlee, Gomez, Marten Van Riel (NED), Ben Kanute (USA), Wian Sullwald (RSA), Varga, Eric Lagerstrom (USA), Pierre Le Corre (FRA) tried to get an early lead. But a large chase pack that was being handled by Blummenfelt caused a merging of the two groups, so that by lap two a big peloton was formed containing 33 names and all the big players in the mix.

Without any successful breakaways, the whole pack entered the second transition together. Putting pedal to the medal once on foot, Brownlee and Blummenfelt blasted away to try to get the edge. While the two, who come from regions where the cold weather climate works to their favour, attempted to keep their lead, it took just a couple kilometres for Gomez and Luis to catch them and create a small group of four men.

Mola then came charging through in sixth place. Knowing it was a world title on the line, it was only moments before Mola then pushed his way right into the lead pack of four. From there his title was almost secured, since he only needed to finish in the top five to lock in his repeat world crown.

The pack surged on, with Murray running in sixth but unable to catch the leaders. Then in the last lap Luis started to change the pace and he broke away from the others in the final moments to claim the Grand Final race win.

Blummenfelt then came just seconds after, kicking in joy with the result that granted him the final spot on the overall Series podium.

Blummenfelt said, “It is obviously a great feeling. That was the goal overall before my season, to get on the podium overall. I started not as I wanted with the DNF in Abu Dhabi and then some not 100% performances, so at the beginning of the year I didn’t know how easy it would be to get on the overall podium. I just have been training well and believing in the process, so it’s good.”

Mola then followed in for third, smiling as usual knowing he could claim a second straight world crown.

Finishing fourth then in the day was Gomez, who earned another Series podium spot. “I am very pleased with this year, I was focused on different distances and still managed to get the silver medal,” he said.

1. Vincent Luis FRA FR 01:51:26
2. Kristian Blummenfelt NOR NO 01:51:28
3. Mario Mola ESP ES 01:51:36
4. Javier Gomez Noya ESP ES 01:51:41
5. Jonathan Brownlee GBR GB 01:51:52
6. Richard Murray RSA ZA 01:52:06
7. Pierre Le Corre FRA FR 01:52:31
8. Joao Pereira POR PT 01:52:32
9. Andreas Schilling DEN DK 01:52:33
10. Thomas Bishop GBR GB 01:52:34
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Matt Hauser Produces A Gold Winning Performance in Rotterdam

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Queensland’s rising triathlon star Matt Hauser has continued Australia’s golden run at the ITU World Championships Grand Final with a stunning world junior title win in a rainy Rotterdam earlier today.

Hauser, 19, secured Australia’s third gold medal of the Championships, coming 24 hours after paratriathletes Katie Kelly and Emily Tapp claimed gold in their classes yesterday.

With three races remaining today, the Under 23 women and the Men’s and Women’s Elite races, Australia has won three gold, two silver and one bronze in what has already been a successful Championships.

The talented teen from Hervey Bay, who moved to the Gold Coast to chase his triathlon dreams two years ago under coach Dan Atkins, finally dispelled the disappointment of 2016.

Hauser finished 45th in the corresponding World Championship race in Cozumel, Mexico last year after finishing fifth in a swim-less race in Chicago in 2015 – his career very much at a crossroads.

But 12 months later and after turning his career around in a big way, under Atkins, Hauser now forms part of an exciting new generation of male triathlon stars and the win comes the morning after team mate Luke Willian’s brave bronze in the Under 23 World Championship race.

Hauser has become a rare two-time World Champion in the same year adding his junior crown to the newest Olympic event, the Mixed Team Relay title he won with Birtwhistle, Ashleigh Gentle and Charlotte McShane in Hamburg in July.

Hauser and Willian have continued to put pressure on the Elite Australians, Rio Olympians Aaron Royle and Ryan Bailie in the race to join already nominated Birtwhistle for next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

And it more than makes up for the bitter disappointment he suffered at last year’s world championships in Cozumel.

Hauser handled the wet, slippery and tricky conditions like a true pro – conditions that claimed some riders who crashed early in the bike on the narrow, cobblestoned roads of Europe’s famous port city.

The strongly built Hauser was first out of the water after the 750m swim, positioning himself perfectly with a group of 12 that circled the city streets as the rain increased, making conditions increasingly dangerous.

And after surviving the 20km four lap bike circuit he wasted no time charging out of transition with that determined look in his eyes when he attacked the run with the world title in his sights.

And after the first 2.5km run lap Hauser had opened up a 12 second lead and at that point he was never going to be headed, running away with the gold by 28 seconds to claim the victory over Vasco Vilaca (Portugal) and Ben Dijkstra (Great Britain) taking bronze.

Hauser went through the course in 55mins 54seconds, Vilaca in 56.22 and Dijkstra in 5.35 and was full of praise for his coaches.

“Since I moved to the Gold Coast to join Dan Atkins from my first coach Brian Harrington I’ve had a great lot of mentors and coaches with me along the way,” said Hauser.

“To be able to get this win, and to (now) start my career after this win it’s more of a relief than anything after a poor year last year.

“It’s really positive, a two time world champion in the one year is fantastic and a great honour.

“I’ve been building up 12 months for this. Being able to get some redemption from last year’s poor result is fantastic.

“Full credit to my coach Dan and all the guys on the Gold Coast for helping me and pushing me through.

“Today positioning on the bike was everything and I was able to have the legs in the end.
“Basing ourselves in the Basque country in Spain with coach Jamie Turner’s group in the lead off has certainly paid off.

“It was critical on the bike and I managed that up front with a couple of the Norwegians and that worked out well.

“I knew if I got through transition I would be well placed with my run and my legs were feeling good.

“I just executed the process and everything worked out well for me on the day. It has been a 12-month preparation for me and I have had a few setbacks, but it has been great year all-around in total.”

The two other Australians in the race, rookie Lorcan Redmond (NSW) claimed 20th on debut in an encouraging start to his international career while Nicholas Free gave away 30 seconds in transition to finish 30th.

Hauser becomes only the fourth Australian to win the ITU World Junior Championship – joining Ben Bright (1994), Chris Hill (1995) and Olympian Courtney Atkinson (1999) and the first Aussie on the podium since Birtwhistle (silver) and Calvin Quirk (bronze) in Edmonton in 2014.

 

1. Matthew Hauser AUS 00:55:54
2. Vasco Vilaca POR 00:56:22
3. Ben Dijkstra GBR 00:56:35
4. James Chantler GBR 00:56:41
5. Vetle Bergsvik Thorn NOR 00:56:43
6. Barclay Izzard GBR 00:56:44
7. Csongor Lehmann HUN 00:56:50
8. Endre Espedal NOR 00:56:57
9. Javier Romo Oliver ESP 00:57:00
10. Simon Westermann SUI 00:57:12
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Taylor Knibb repeats Junior World Title in Rotterdam

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In a dominating performance showcasing once again her power on the bike, USA’s Taylor Knibb claimed a repeat junior women’s title at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam

In a dominating performance showcasing once again her power on the bike, USA’s Taylor Knibb claimed a repeat junior women’s title at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam.

Despite not racing much due to her focusing on her first year of University, Knibb competed in select World Triathlon Series races at the elite level, where her talent and improvement from those races was highlighted today out on the junior stage.

Hammering away on the bike in order to break away from a chase pack, saw Knibb riding solo for almost all of the 20-kilometre bike course, before finishing the five-kilometre run untouched to walk away with the second consecutive junior world title.

Knibb said about winning her second title, “Yes, it is a bit of a surprise, I didn’t know it was going to happen in the race, so I am just really grateful.”

“I saw that Kate (Waugh) was closing the gap on me so I freaked out and ran hard, so it really made me earn it. I was a great race and she (Waugh) had an amazing race,” Knibb said.

Claiming the silver and stepping on her first world championship podium was Great Britain’s Kate Waugh, while the bronze went to Japan’s Fuka Sega who had a breakthrough race from start to finish.

Filling almost the entire dive pontoon, a large roster of 70 women lined up to partake in the quest for the junior world crown. With a slight chop in the Mass river, Japan’s Sega managed to get the edge and exit the waters first. Just a short 12 seconds behind saw the likes of a huge pack of women charging through the first transition to start the bike leg.

While Knibb found herself among the shuffle after the swim, it took only a matter of moments before she worked her way up to Sega to ride as a leading twosome for the first lap. However, Knibb has worked in power duos in the past, such as elite bike powerhouse Flora Duffy so it came as no surprise when she then exceeded past Sega on the second lap to pull out in the lead.

Knibb held onto the top spot through the rest of the bike leg, despite a small pack of women trailing her that contained the likes of Waugh, Sega, Therese Feuersinger (AUT), Hannah Knighton (NZL) and Olivia Mathias (GBR).

Heading into the second transition, Knibb’s lead was around 30 seconds. However, the women in the first chase group had some strong running legs and Waugh managed to scare the gap down to about 20 seconds.

Knibb’s lead maintained and she entered the finish chute smiling as she grabbed the tape for the second straight year. Waugh then followed 16 seconds later, while Sega was about another 30 seconds from that to claim the bronze.

Results: Junior Women
1. Taylor Knibb USA 01:01:22
2. Kate Waugh GBR 01:01:38
3. Fuka Sega JPN 01:02:05
4. Therese Feuersinger AUT 01:02:24
5. Hannah Knighton NZL 01:02:24
6. Olivia Mathias GBR 01:02:42
7. Lena Meißner GER 01:02:55
8. Desirae Ridenour CAN 01:03:02
9. Hye Rim Jeong KOR 01:03:05
10. Kira Hedgeland AUS 01:03:15
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