Jake Birtwhistle plots World Series assault after Commonwealth Games glory

WALKING TALL: Dual Commonwealth Games medallist Jake Birtwhistle. Picture: AAP
WALKING TALL: Dual Commonwealth Games medallist Jake Birtwhistle. Picture: AAP

Before flying to the Gold Coast to win Commonwealth Games gold and silver medals, Jake Birtwhistle spent a month training in Launceston.

The Riverside pool where he has trained for more than a decade became his home base once more, as did Launceston’s roads and running tracks.

It was here six years ago that a 17-year-old Birtwhistle made the call to broaden his focus from running to triathlon – a move that has since paid off in spades.  

“It’s just nice that everything’s really familiar,” he said.

“I obviously had options for where I could go to prepare for Comm Games and nothing really made more sense than here where everything is kind of set out for me.

“If I had a specific session (I wanted to do) I knew exactly what road had the perfect length hill and things like that, so that’s kind of the main reason why I made that choice.”

After landing back in Launceston a week ago, Birtwhistle has since flown out to Noosa to spend time with girlfriend Amelia Wyllie and continue training for the Triathlon World Series.

His 2018 can already be considered a success in light of two stellar Commonwealth Games performances, yet the 23-year-old is determined to up his performances in the TWS.

The world number 15 will miss the series’ second race in Bermuda later this month but will continue to chase the top-three ranking he believes is within his reach.

“Hopefully I can place well in this series this year because I’ve never really finished the year with a ranking that I’m happy with - this year I’ll see because I’ve missed an event already.

“Looking at it in a three-year plan I would have said Comm Games this year and then World Series 2019 and the 2020 Olympics.

“So this year for now we’ll see what I can do rest of the series, there’s eight races and I think you include six for your ranking so it’s still very possible to go well.

“Last year I think I included three or maybe four events of the nine and I was 12th, so it’s a realistic goal looking at some of my performances, but I just need to get this year nailed down and get more consistency through the results.”

Birtwhistle will next compete in the May 12 WTS event in Yokohoma, which will be followed by races in Leeds, Hamburg, Edmonton and Montreal.

The WTS grand final will be held on the Gold Coast in September.