Why it matters: Australian triathlete Charlotte McShane will return to New Plymouth, New Zealand for the first time since 2019 when she withdrew due to a back injury, putting her career in jeopardy. She is now back to full fitness, having qualified for her second Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the Australian World Championship team for Abu Dhabi.
Setting the pace: Charlotte McShane left New Plymouth in 2019 after a DNF at the World Cup event due to a back injury, which was one of nine DNFs that day. After three years of treatment and management, McShane has qualified for her second Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and is ready to race for Olympic point scoring on the road to Paris 2024.
What they are saying:
- “When I left New Plymouth in 2019 I honestly thought it would be the last race of my career, and now it feels so good to go back knowing that am now strong and healthy and that’s all behind me,” said McShane.
- “There is rain forecast for Sunday and to be truthful I don’t mind racing in the wet. It’s like an extra skill set I feel I have, so if it rains, I’m not too fussed about that at all,” said McShane.
- “Charlotte is training so well, I think she’ll be smiling getting on the plane knowing she has put together another really good block post Abu Dhabi," said Coach Dan Atkins.
Between transition: McShane's opening World Triathlon Series race in Abu Dhabi last month came around a little bit too early, and she struggled with her run. After focusing on her training and putting together a good block post Abu Dhabi, McShane feels great and hopes to produce a better performance.
McShane is joined by two other Australians, Jaz Hedgeland, who finished third in the 2019 New Plymouth race, and Emma Jeffcoat, who finished seventh. Also racing is 2016 Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen from the USA, who is back on the comeback trail for Paris just four months after giving birth to her second child.
- The first World Cup race in New Plymouth was held in 2006, and since then, there have been a total of 16 editions of the race.
- The most successful female athlete in the history of the New Plymouth race is Emma Jackson from Australia, who has won the event three times (2013, 2014, 2016).
- The fastest female time on the current New Plymouth course was set by Andrea Hewitt from New Zealand in 2017, with a time of 1:00:27.
- New Zealand has been the most successful nation in the women's race, with six victories in total.
- The average winning time for the women's race in New Plymouth is around 1 hour and 3 minutes.
- In the 2019 edition of the race, which Charlotte McShane withdrew from due to injury, the winner of the women's event was Nicola Spirig from Switzerland, who finished in a time of 1:01:18.
The bottom line: Charlotte McShane is back to full fitness and ready to race at the World Triathlon Cup in New Plymouth. After a career-threatening injury forced her to withdraw from the event in 2019, McShane is happy and well-centered in her training and looking forward to a good result.