LAUNCESTON triathlete Jacob Birtwhistle has confirmed his rising star status and future Olympic potential by winning the 2014 Australian junior triathlon championship at Melbourne's Brighton Beach yesterday.
It was back-to-back national junior titles for the 19-year-old having won the race last year before going on to a Youth Olympics triathlon gold medal and the ITU world championships in London.
The national championships doubled as a selection race for this year's world junior championships in Edmonton, Canada and the victory should again guarantee Birtwhistle automatic selection for this year's Australian team.
``Getting to the worlds is the goal for me for the season and it will be good to get there and give it another crack,'' he said.
Now based in Woollongong with the Jamie Turner stable, Birtwhistle had a comfortable 11-second victory over the Gold Coast's Dan Coleman and West Australian Calvin Quirk in the 750-metre swim, 20km bike and 10km run event.
``It was a good race today,'' he said.
``I have been working on my swim a bit over the past couple of months and it showed today in the race because I came out of the water in a pretty good position.
``I was able to hold that over the bike and use my run as the strength to break away in the middle of the run and get the win.''
Seventeen-year-old Devonport triathlete Fraser Lyon finished a creditable eighth in the national championship.