Birtwhistle takes out national junior title

LAUNCESTON triathlete Jacob Birtwhistle has confirmed his future Olympic potential by winning the Australian junior triathlon championship race at Melbourne's Brighton Beach today.

The 19-year-old made it back-to-back national junior titles having taken out the same race last year when he also won the Youth Olympics triathlon gold and qualified for the ITU world championships in London.

Birtwhistle's win should guarantee him selection for the Australian team for this year's world championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Now based for training in Woollongong, Birthwhistle had a comfortable victory over the Gold Coast's Dan Coleman and West Australian Calvin Quirk third in the 750-metre swim, 20km bike and 10km run event.

Birtwhistle will compete in his first ITU elite men's race at the Oceania championships in Devonport on Saturday.

Devonport teenager Fraser Lyon finished a creditable eighth.

Launceston athlete Jake Birtwhistle

Launceston athlete Jake Birtwhistle