Royle in fast finish

NEW South Wales triathlete Aaron Royle yesterday showed why he has already gained an early nomination for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow when he won with a  thrilling finish at the Devonport Triathlon. 

The Newcastle athlete, based in Wollongong, out-sprinted in-form Melbourne-based Queenslander Ryan Fisher to win the event, which doubled as the Australian and Oceania Olympic Distance Championships for elite men and women.

Last year's ITU World Championship under-23 bronze medallist Declan Wilson finished third.

Launceston's Youth Olympic gold medallist Jacob Birtwhistle was seventh in the elite category in his first ITU Olympic Distance race and was second to Wilson in the under 23 section.

``No matter what I did [Fisher] just wouldn't leave me alone,'' said Royle, who has finished second on two previous occasions in Devonport.

``I thought to myself `I don't want to come to Devonport and finish second again'.

``Third-time lucky this time - I've got to win this one.''

Birtwhistle, who was suffering soft tissue bruising and a head cold heading into the race admitted he was hurting over the longer 10-kilometre run but would be better for the experience.

The re-incarnation of Brisbane triathlete Gillian Backhouse continued when she added the OTU Oceania Olympic Distance Championship to her resume after winning the Australian Sprint Championship two weeks ago.

``The training is paying off that's for sure and especially in the run leg, not just over the five kilometres but the 10 kilometres as well,'' said Backhouse, who beat home NSW pair Natalie Van Coevorden and Melinda Vernon.

Perth's triathlon sister act, Jaz and Kira Hedgeland, continued to make names for themselves after taking out their second consecutive quinella in six days in the Scody Australian Junior Triathlon Series.

Last Sunday the sisters, aged 19 and 15, stormed to their first ever quinella at the Australian Junior Championships.

The Junior Men's Oceania crown went to Queenslander Matt Hauser.

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