Jake Birtwhistle named in national ITU team for Rotterdam

ON SONG: Launceston's Jake Birtwhistle powers his way to World Triathlon Series silver in Edmonton last month. Picture: ITU Media | Wagner Araujo

ON SONG: Launceston's Jake Birtwhistle powers his way to World Triathlon Series silver in Edmonton last month. Picture: ITU Media | Wagner Araujo

Launceston triathlete Jake Birtwhistle has been named alongside four Olympians in Australia’s elite triathlon team for the ITU World Championship grand final in the Netherlands.

The 22-year-old will enter the event in top form after starring in last month’s World Triathlon Series in Hamburg, where he took silver in the individual competition before anchoring Australia to its first ever world championship gold in the teams relay.

Two of Birtwhistle’s teammates from that race - Olympian Ashleigh Gentle and Scotland-born Charlotte McShane - have been named alongside him in the grand final team, as have Natalie Van Coevorden and Gillian Backhouse and Olympians Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie and Emma Jackson.

Sitting in sixth place on the world rankings, Birtwhistle said he was well-prepared for the Rotterdam event. 

“At the beginning of each year the grand final is always a priority race,” Birtwhistle told Triathlon Australia.

“I will definitely be in Rotterdam ready to perform.”

After narrowly missing out on the 2016 Rio Olympics, Birtwhistle will represent Australia at next year’s Commonwealth Games after gaining automatic selection in April’s Gold Coast World Triathlon Series. 

The ITU World Championship Grand Final will run from September 14 to 17. 

Australian elite triathlon team

  • Ashleigh Gentle (QLD), Charlotte McShane (NSW), Natalie Van Coevorden NSW), Emma Jackson (QLD), Gillian Backhouse (QLD), Aaron Royle NSW), Jake Birtwhistle (TAS), Ryan Bailie (WA)
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