By Courtney Akrigg on 13/03/20 at 10:31 am
Following the postponement of WTS Abu Dhabi and with Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification points on the line, the season will get underway in Mooloolaba, Australia, in the Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup on Saturday 14 March.
Located on the famous Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba will play host to an elite field of men and women, stacked with Olympians, Commonwealth Games representatives, experienced and emerging athletes on the circuit, as it serves up the first fix of World Triathlon race action.
On Saturday 14 March the elite women’s race will commence at 1300 (local time, Queensland, Australia) and the elite men will launch at 1530 (local time). Follow the athletes and races on TriathlonLIVE.tv.
Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)
Racing at home..
“I do love racing at home. If you look at my resume, I have had some successful races on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast because I love the Queensland crowds and being so close to home, very happy to be back.”
Season starting in Mooloolaba..
“I wanted to get things going here in Mooloolaba, being such a big year with the Olympics and we’ve got to be able to have good form now but not be too ready to go because you’ve got to try and peak in July. I have to keep in the back of my mind that I still have to get selected into the Australian team.”
“We’ve got some great women lining up on Saturday and it’s going to be a great race on the Sunshine Coast.”
Preparation leading into 2020…
“It’s definitely different, I remember in 2016 starting my season really early. Fortunately I was able to get 2 silver WTS medals early in the season which cemented my place in the team but I was a bit of an outsider against Emma Moffatt who had already made it and I was trying to cement my name there. I have taken a different approach this time, being a bit more of a mature athlete. I’ve got a couple of good results under my belt so I wanted to try and back myself and ease into the season a bit slower, still show really great form and just have a bit more confidence that I can race well.”
Amelie Kretz (CAN)
On the Tri Mixed Relay format making its debut in Tokyo 2020..
“I am sure we have a really good team. I think we have alot more potential than what we have shown. I think our team is very complete and I am very lucky to be apart of it but I think we have alot more in us. Excited to get out there this year. We are yet to qualify a relay so we’re really looking for the next races to do so.”
Personal ambition for 2020..
“For myself I am chasing some points right now to secure that second spot for Canada and secure a relay as well so it’s a really big year and I am really excited to race it.”
“The ocean swim with the waves, I think it’s my favourite part of coming here. The big swell makes a big difference. The crowds are amazing and the course is challenging, it’s an all-round great event.
Hayden Wilde (NZL)
“It was definitely unexpected. I was absolutely stoked after that race and it’s put me in the punch for the Tokyo team but there are four other guys going for two spots in NZ, looking forward to being in the fight.”
Race focus for Olympic selection…
“At the start of 2019 I was looking at Tokyo for potential but I knew it was going to be a hard reach but having a consistent 2019 it has definitely put my hat in the ring that’s forsure and the confidence racing with the bigger boys has helped me mentally.”
Brandon Copeland (AUS)
Key learnings about racing..
“Learn alot of different things, the first time I raced here in Mooloolaba I was done by the top of the hill but last year I managed to control that and raced much smarter. For me it’s building year after year, picking up a few extra things about what works for me. Hopefully I will be able to put all that into practice tomorrow.”
The hill in Mooloolaba…
“By the time you get to the third lap you really feel it. You have to look after yourself and pace yourself well on this course.”
On the Olympic qualification process…
“There’s a lot of the guys racing here this weekend and it’s a good opportunity for everyone to go head to head. There is going to be some real battles over the next few months.For me personally I am sort of looking at 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2024 Paris Olympic Games, I think that is when I will be hitting my peak so that’s the real goal for me at this point.”
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Find more details about this event - 2020 Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup