Elite hunt Gold Coast dream

SOME of the nation’s best triathletes and paratriathletes will be in Tasmania on Saturday for the Devonport Triathlon Oceania Championships as they look to qualify for next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

PREPARED: Queenslander Gillian Backhouse and Sydneysider Emma Jeffcoat will both compete at the Devonport Triathlon on Saturday. Picture: Delly Carr, Triathlon Australia

PREPARED: Queenslander Gillian Backhouse and Sydneysider Emma Jeffcoat will both compete at the Devonport Triathlon on Saturday. Picture: Delly Carr, Triathlon Australia

Melbourne-based training partners, defending champion Marcel Walkington and Matt Baker and Gillian Backhouse (Queensland) and Emma Jeffcoat (NSW) will headline the event in the open and under-23 men’s and women’s categories.

All four are Australian team members for the World Triathlon Series event on the Gold Coast in April, where the first Australian across the line in the top 10 will be handed an automatic Commonwealth Games nomination.

They all plan to use the standard distance 1500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10km run Devonport course as preparation.

Backhouse finished second to Chilean Olympian Barbara Riveros last year, while under-23 winner Jeffcoat was third home in the elite class.

Paralympian Katie Kelly will also return to Devonport after her success last year, which played a key part in her Rio gold as well as Kate Doughty and Brant Garvey.

DEVONPORT DETAILS

  • 7.30am: National age group standard distance world qualifying race
  • 1pm: Elite/U23 female devonport OTU standard distance
  • 3.15pm: Elite/U23 male devonport OTU standard distance
  • 5.15pm: OTU paratriathlon Oceania championships
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