In a day that started out celebrating another golden moment for legendary Australian triathlete Michellie Jones it finished with a double celebration for the future generation.
Jones turned back the clock to add another world title to her impressive list of achievements when she clocked the fastest time of any age grouper on the day to win her first ITU Age Group World Sprint distance title in the 45-49 years age group.
And by the afternoon three youngsters she had addressed in the Australian Team Meeting in Edmonton just last night, kick-started their own careers with some outstanding performances.
Tasmania’s Jacob Birtwhistle and Gold Coaster Calvin Quirk flew the Australian flag to finish with silver and bronze in the ITU World Junior Triathlon Championship after Nanging Youth Olympic gold medalist Brittany Dutton had stormed home to finish an encouraging sixth in the Junior Girls.
Birtwhistle and Quirk gave Australia a flying start, emerging from a red hot field of 70 starters.
Birtwhistle, 19, in his final year in the Under 20s, felt agonisingly short of the gold in a dramatic sprint finish with Raphael Montoya of France after a neck and neck race to the finish with 17-year-old Quirk a fast finishing third.
A group of over 40 riders battled the four laps on the tricky bike course before the “charge of the light brigade’ through transition and it didn’t take long for Birtwhistle to dictate the run.
Quirk, competing at his first world championships, positioned himself early in the run and with coach Dan Atkins yelling encouragement in the final stages charged past his competition to grab the bronze.
“It is a whole lot better feeling than finishing sixth in London last year – and although it would have been nice to take the gold, it is satisfying to get on the podium and with Calvin, who did a great job,” said Birtwhistle.
“I feel like I have grown so much in the past 12 months and I feel I am ready to take the next step into the senior ranks.”
Australia’s Matt Roberts finished 25th with Daniel Coleman 47th.
JUNIOR MEN’S RESULTS