The Australian Olympic Committee has named a star-studded 6-member squad for Tokyo 2021 Olympics. The squad features two Rio Olympians, Aaron Royle and Ashleigh Gentle who are accompanied by four stellar debuts, Jake Birtwhistle, Matt Hauser, Jaz Hedgeland and Emma Jeffcoat.
For the upcoming event, only Australia has been able to clinch the maximum quota spots, on account of the amazing performances across various international events.
The introduction of the Mixed Triathlon Relay this year will boost the excitement, especially for the Australian triathletes as Australia has had great success in the sport internationally. In the last five Mixed Relay World Championships, Australia has secured one gold, three silver and one bronze.
Ian Andrew Chesterman, the Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team has also expressed his excitement for the Mixed Triathlon Relay, “I’m particularly excited to see the team compete in the Olympic debut of the Mixed Relay, the team element has brought out fantastic performances from Australian athletes and I’m sure they will represent the country proudly again in Tokyo,” said Chesterman.
Aaron Royle, who finished 9th at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has been once again selected to represent Australia in Tokyo. By taking part in the event, Royle will become the fourth male triathlete to have participated in Olympics twice. Having bagged 1st place at the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Mixed Relay, Royle will surely be over the moon with the induction of the Mixed Triathlon Relay at the Olympics.
Ashleigh Gentle will also become the third female triathlete to compete in the Olympics twice. The seasoned athlete only participated in one event – the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup – last year and stood third on the podium. In her previous Olympic race, Gentle finished 26th but now with all the experience that she has, expectations from her are even greater.
Jake Birtwhistle, currently ranked 8th triathlete in the world, has also been named to the team. Birtwhistle’s impressive results includes wins in 2019 World Triathlon Hamburg and 2019 World Triathlon Leeds. He’s the only male to have won two world series in the last full season. Many believe he’s Australia’s best chance to secure gold in Tokyo.
The 2017 World Junior Champion, Matthew Hauser is also part of the team. Just recently, Hauser scored 1st position in Oceania Triathlon Cup Port Douglas and Oceania Triathlon Cup Gold Coast, followed by the 2nd position in Oceania Triathlon Championships and Cup Port Douglas. Without a doubt, the 23 years old is in the form of his life and has all the potential to shine bright in Tokyo.
Jaz Hedgeland, the current female Oceania champion was also named to the squad. Hedgeland has grabbed victories in her last two races and would hope to replicate the same momentum at the most anticipated race of her life.
Last but not least, World Championship Mixed Relay medalist, Emma Jeffcoat has also been selected for Tokyo. On her Instagram Jeffcoat shared her joy to join the squad, “Over the moon to officially announce that I’m off to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Jeffcoat.