Birtwhistle focused on Gold Coast

FROM adversity comes strength and Launceston triathlete Jacob Birtwhistle says he is a more resilient person after missing out on selection for this year’s Rio Olympic Games.

Birtwhistle, 22, caught up with fellow Tasmanians Kate Pedley and Dylan Hill on Wednesday before he jets off to compete in the Nepean triathlon this weekend.

COOL CATS: Tasmanian triathletes Jacob Birtwhistle, Kate Pedley and Dylan Hill in Launceston on Wednesday. Picture: Neil Richardson

COOL CATS: Tasmanian triathletes Jacob Birtwhistle, Kate Pedley and Dylan Hill in Launceston on Wednesday. Picture: Neil Richardson

Last year’s under-23 world champion said he has enjoyed a busy, yet successful season.

“It has been full of highs and lows but overall I’m pretty happy with how things have progressed,” Birtwhistle said.

“There has been a big progression from where I was at last year so that is something I’ve got to be pretty extremely proud of.”

Birtwhistle’s career best World Triathlon Series result came in Hamburg, Germany, where he claimed a silver medal.

The former Riverside High School student is ranked 13th in the international series.

However, the rapidly raising star missed out on selection for Rio to Ryan Fisher, Aaron Royle and Ryan Bailie.

“It think I have grown, there was a pretty rough patch there for a while around the time of Olympic Games,” Birtwhistle said.

“It was unfortunate missing out on that team as I thought I had done enough to be selected but that has happened now and I just have to move on.” 

The Jamie Tuner-coached product will race the Noosa Triathlon on October 30 following the trip to Penrith.

He will return home to relax for a couple of months before tuning up for a big 2017 and the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

“Qualification for the Commonwealth Games will be starting next year and that is the big box to tick at the moment,” Birtwhistle said.

“I think the team will be announced mid next year, quite early compared to previous years.

“The first selection event will be the Gold Coast WTS event… that will be the first big race for the year and hopefully I can do what I have to and not have to worry about it for the rest of the year.”

Pedley has been enjoying a break following her first elite 70.3 world championships race in Mooloolaba in August.

She led a strong Tasmanian contingent to Queensland and finished the course in four hours and 29 minutes.

“It was a really good experience,” she said.

“It was definitely very hard but I learnt a lot from it.”

Pedley will take part in the Burnie Ten on Sunday in the lead up to the Ballarat half ironman in early December.

Hill has been out of action for the past 16 weeks with illness and said that he is unsure when he will be back competing.

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