Tassie Teen Triathletes Poised to Shine as Birtwhistle Prepares to Pass the Baton

As Olympic hero Jake Birtwhistle eyes a transition, Tasmanian prodigies Jack Woodberry and Jack Latham are poised to make a splash in their elite debut.

Tassie Teen Triathletes Poised to Shine as Birtwhistle Prepares to Pass the Baton

As local hero Jake Birtwhistle sets his sights on longer course racing, two rising stars from Tasmania are ready to make their mark at the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Sprint Championships in Devonport this weekend.

Birtwhistle, the 29-year-old Tokyo Olympian, has hinted that Saturday's race at the Mersey Bluff course may be his last in Devonport. With an impressive career boasting 17 wins and 30 podium finishes from 94 international races, the Launceston native aims to secure a spot on the Paris Olympic team before transitioning to new challenges. His achievements include an Under 23 World Championship win in Chicago (2015) and memorable World Triathlon Championship Series victories in Leeds and Hamburg.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Jack Woodberry from Hobart and 17-year-old Jack Latham from Ulverstone are set to make their elite triathlon debuts alongside their idol. Woodberry, fresh off a victory at the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships in Napier and becoming the first Tasmanian since Birtwhistle in 2012 to win the Australian Junior Super Sprint Championships, is eager to prove himself on the big stage. Latham, a Commonwealth Youth Games medalist with a bronze in the individual race and gold in the mixed relay event, is equally excited to test his mettle against top-level competition.

"It's surreal to be lining up against someone like Jake," said Woodberry. "I'm so proud to be a Tasmanian, and it motivates me to prove what our little state can do. I can't wait to showcase what I have to offer and learn as much as I possibly can."

Latham echoed the sentiment, stating, "To be able to race against him in his last year here is an honour. I won't lie, I was a little kid jumping up and down watching him win, saying 'I want to be like him.' He was like a superhero to me."

As Birtwhistle defends his title against fierce competition from recent World Triathlon Cup winner Callum McClusky, 2022 Commonwealth Games teammate Brandon Copeland, and a strong New Zealand contingent led by Tayler Reid, all eyes will be on the Tasmanian teenagers as they begin their journey to become the next generation of triathlon stars.

Oceania Triathlon Championships Sprint Devonport

Saturday, March 16
Elite Women – 1:00pm AEDT
Elite Men - 3:00pm AEDT